Levi Leipheimer has been diagnosed with a fracture in his left fibula. Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) suffered the injury when a car hit him from behind during a training ride on Sunday in Spain.
“After the crash, I understood immediately something was wrong when there was swelling, and I couldn’t bear weight on that side,” Leipheimer said in a team release. “Now I need to stay calm and recover as fast as possible to try to be competitive for Amgen Tour of California. I am really disappointed, but the real victory here is that I survived the collision and that I’m alive to meet that challenge at all.”
Leipheimer was riding alone on the eve of the Vuelta al País Vasco in the Basque Country when a car struck him from behind. The American sought medical treatment in Spain before flying home to Santa Rosa, California, Monday morning.
A X-ray showed the fracture. Leipheimer was disappointed Thursday, but thankful he was not more seriously injured. According to the team, the American will not undergo surgery at this point.
“It’s amazing that all I did was break my fibula,” he said. “I was in a panic state after [the collision] happened; I couldn’t calm down. I can’t communicate how close I came to being killed and that was incredibly scary. More than anything, I’m really grateful for the chance to come back from this injury.”
The three-time Amgen Tour winner suggested that the injury — or more accurately the two weeks of rest it requires — may set him up well for the Tour de France and Olympic Games.
“This could be a good thing for me in events like the Tour de France and the 2012 London Olympics,” he said. “While the Tour of California will be more of a challenge for me now, I still have my sights set squarely on a win again this year.”