Steegmans to miss De Panne and De Ronde

Gert Steegmans has finally convinced Katusha manager Andrei Tchmil that he must rest if he is to regain his fitness. The Belgian developed a problem in the Tour Down Under that has failed to respond to treatment. He says that he is OK in training but if he makes a serious effort he develops a tingling in his buttock and has no power in his left leg.

Steegmans feels that it may take an operation to resolve the problem although he is hopeful that more conservative treatment could put him on the road to recovery. No doubt Tchmil feels that Filippo Pozzato, who is in good form, could win De Ronde and Steegman’s contribution could have been crucial to the Russian team’s hopes. Having watched today’s Brabantse Pijl and the sterling work of  QuickStep, particularly  Jerome Pineau, I am sure Boonen will not be short of willing helpers in Flanders next Sunday.

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