Ex-Tour De France Champion Andy Schleck Out With Back Injury

Andy Schleck, who became champion of the 2010 Tour de France after the winner failed a drug test, will miss this year’s cycle race with a back fracture, his team said today.

Schleck suffered a fracture in a crash in a June 7 time trial at the Criterium du Dauphine, a warm up for the Tour, RadioshackNissanTrek said today in a statement. The rider will miss four to six weeks. The Tour starts June 30 and finishes July 22.

Alberto Contador got a two-year ban for failing a drug test and stripped of his 2010 Tour win earlier this year, giving Schleck the title. Last week, Schleck was knocked off his bike during the time trial, and dropped out two days later because of the pain.

“This is the biggest disappointment in my life,” said Schleck, who’s finished in the top three at the Tour de France three times. “The Tour is the most important race. I would have been ready to perform. I wanted to give an answer to my critics.”

The Luxembourg rider’s orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Torsten Gerich, said the injury was a bone bruise. Schleck said he’ll resume riding in three weeks, and wants to ride in the Olympics.

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