Levi Leipheimer out of Paris-Nice

Tour of California winner suffered fracture on Stage 3 crash

Levi Leipheimer (L) touched Astana teammate Lance Armstrong's rear wheel on Stage 3 of the 2009 Tour of California, sending the three-time winner to the ground.


Recent Tour of California winner Levi Leipheimer will not start the upcoming Paris-Nice race due to a fracture suffered during his Stage 3 crash, his Astana team announced Saturday.

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An MRI scan revealed an undisplaced fracture of Leipheimer’s sacrum. This fracture didn’t prevent him from winning the time trial and the overall classification in Tour of California, although, according to a team press statement, he suffered from a lot of pain. The Vuelta a Castilla y León will be his first race after his recovery  period. Paris-Nice runs March 8 – 15. Leipheimer and his Astana team weren’t invited to the 2008 edition, won by Davide Rebellin.

Astana teammates Tomas Vaitkus and Valeriy Dmitriyev crashed in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday. The Kazakh rider has a big contusion of the muscles of the right calf and will be out for minimum two weeks.

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Lithuanian road champion Vaikus, on his way to a top five placing in the race, could not escape a crash of another rider in the final  sprint and went down as well. He has an undisplaced fracture of the  head of the right radius bone in the right elbow; the same type of  fracture Alberto Contador had in the 2008 Giro d’Italia. A CAT scan did not reveal any fracture in his wrist.