Shorts: Konecny, Indurain, Lance

Konecny breaks leg playing ice hockey, Indurain backs the Pro Tour, Armstrong asks training partner

Konecny breaks leg playing ice hockey, Indurain backs the Pro Tour, Armstrong asks training partner
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE T-Mobile's Czech rider Tomas Konecny has had an operation after breaking leg while playing ice hockey in his home town of Brno on Tuesday night. According to T-Mobile spokesman Olaf Ludwig, "The operation went well. The doctors have used plates and screws to immobilise the leg." Konecny will be out of training for the next four weeks while the injury heals. "The break from training will obviously eat into my preparations for the coming season. When I return to training I will have to work double as hard to make up for lost time," said Konecny, who has regularly used cross-country skiing and ice hockey to keep his fitness levels up during the winter. - Five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain has defended the introduction of the Pro Tour circuit next season, saying the new racing format will "bring a breath of fresh air to cycling." Indurain, who has acted as an adviser to the UCI on the Pro Tour, said at a cycling forum in the Spanish city of Pontevedra that the new circuit would reward sponsors who showed a long-lasting commitment to cycling. "There are firms who are really passionate about the sport, who have committed a lot of money, and we need to offer them something in exchange for that, to enable them to compete in the biggest races and have the best teams," said the iconic Spaniard. "All the proposals can still be changed, the UCI is open to all kinds of proposals and I really don't know how the Pro Tour will end up in the end," Indurain replied when asked about the ongoing negotiations over the establishment of the Pro Tour. - Formula 1 driver and huge cycling fan Mark Webber has fulfilled a long-standing ambition by spending three days earlier this week training with six-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong in Texas. The Australian who drives for Jaguar but will switch to the Williams team next season is renowned as one of the fittest F1 drivers on the back of his cycling and triathlon exploits and has spent time with compatriots Baden Cooke and Brad McGee at the Tour de France. "I admire people that can do things that I can't do," said Webber earlier this month. "I don't have many racing drivers as heroes because they do things that I can do, so I don't really look up to them. I look up to Lance because of what he has gone through. Asked what he expected of his training stint with Armstrong, Webber responded: "I don't suppose I'll be leading him home." During their training camp, the pair arranged an outing in Formula One two-seater. But Webber told "Lance would prefer if he could get behind the wheel himself. I have told him that I can't promise him that, but I will see what I can do for him. "Everybody knows that Lance is an amazing guy. It was an incredible experience to to cycle along side him and chat with him. But my breath got gradually shorter and shorter, just like my answers to his questions."
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