American cyclist Levi Leipheimer said Thursday he was lucky to be alive after a collision with a car on a training run in northern Spain left him only with a fractured fibula. Leipheimer, 38, sustained the injury when he was hit from behind by a car last weekend as he trained alone for the Tour of the Basque Country which is currently being raced.
“I am really disappointed (to have sustained the injury), but the real victory here is that I survived the collision and that I’m alive to meet that challenge at all,” said Leipheimer. “It’s amazing that all I did was break my fibula. 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 American’s Omega-Pharma team said that X-rays examination had confirmed the fracture.
“At the moment surgery is not necessary. However, the recovery of the rider depends on the evolution of the clinical situation,” the team said, adding that he would have two weeks’ total rest before setting his sights on defending his Tour of California crown.
Leipheimer added: This could be a good thing for me in events like the Tour de France and the 2012 London Olympics. 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.”