Leipheimer out of Pais Vasco after car/bike accident

Omega Pharma rider returning the the U.S. following training crash

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American Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) has been forced to withdraw from the Vuelta al Pais Vasco after a car/bike accident during a training ride Sunday.

“I was kind of in shock, you know,” Leipheimer said in a team release. “The bottom line is it was super scary and I am lucky to be alive. I’d also like to add that the team has been really supportive. The doctor here took great care of me, Ro, who handles all our travel did a great job at making sure I get home really early, and I’ve received good messages from the team. I’m really thankful for that.”

Leipheimer, who has ridden through his most successful early season to date, with two stage wins and the overall title at the Tour de San Luis, was struck by a car from behind on the eve of the week-long WorldTour race.

In his last start, at Paris-Nice, Leipheimer crashed three times in the penultimate stage, ceding his podium GC position before gritting his way through the final-stage time trial.

According to a team spokesperson, Leipheimer was transported to an area hospital where he underwent an X-ray examination that revealed no broken bones. He will return to the U.S. Monday and undergo further examination.

“No broken bones were found, and there is hope that the injury is just a muscle contusion to his left calf,” read the release.

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