Levi Leipheimer was hit by a car while on a solo training ride in Spain, knocking the Santa Rosa resident out of the six-day Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, which begins Monday.
Leipheimer had soreness and swelling in his lower left leg after the accident and was transported to a local hospital, but X-rays revealed no broken bones. His Omega Pharma-QuickStep team is hopeful the 38-year-old cyclist has nothing more than a contusion in his calf muscle.
“I was kind of in shock, you know,” Leipheimer, a team co-captain, said in an OPQS press 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 immediately dropped out of the vuelta, which runs through Spanish Basque country, and was expected to be back in California on Monday. He will return to training “depending on how his clinical situation evolves,” according to the team statement.
It has been a painful season so far for Leipheimer, who was involved in three separate crashes during one stage of the Paris-Nice road race last month. He dropped out of that race, too.
Leipheimer is a three-time winner of the Tour of California, a stage race that will start in Santa Rosa this year on May 13.