Leo König: About the reasons I can't compete in the Giro d'Italia
Leopold König has been one of the ray of hopes for the Giro d'Italia. Now he'll have to miss his first Grand Tour due to severe back problems. In the interview he explains the backgrounds.
Since when are you suffering from back problems?
It´s been actually already a long period of time. Firstly I experienced this kind of pain at Tour of Britain last year.
What is wrong with your back?
I´ve been diagnosed with a bulging disc which is not anything serious in normal life but in professional sport it can be a real problem.
How did you hurt it? Did you have an accident or how did it came up?
I don´t know exactly what caused the problem but I was told that it could have been a long term process when I had a wrong poise and weak back and abdominal muscles.
What is being done to correct it?
I spoke with many specialists about it and there are many methods and possibilities how to fix it including a special work out for back and abdominal muscles, methods to relax muscles and convulsions, physiotherapy and so on.
You are in the line-up for Eschborn Frankfurt. So you can ride ok one day, but that three weeks would not be possible. Is that so?
It´s true. It´s a kind of pain when you suffer both mentally and physically and I even can´t image right now to race more days. Last week I did Giro del Trentino to be absolutely sure that I´m not able to endure the pain I have while racing more than one day. And it turned out that I had to decide not to start in the Giro.
How are you coping with missing the Giro?
I have to look into the future, of course it would have been a big opportunity to show my abilities but things are not always perfect and sometimes you just have to handle it. I´m getting real support from my team which helps me a lot. And I really appreciate that they accept my decision to not do the Giro. Together we will do our best to get me back on the bike within the next months.
When do you expect to ride again and in which race?
That will depend on the further treatments i will undergo. Like you mentioned I´m in line up for Eschborn Frankfurt than I will stay a couple days in hospital for another detailed examination and then we decide what's next.
What do you think your team will acccomplish in the Giro – even without you?
I´m pretty sure about the strength of the team. We already proved that we are able to compete well in high level races and I really look forward specially to both time trials and the team time trial. We won the team time trial at Settimana Coppi e Bartali and only bad luck made us miss the podium in Giro del Trentino, so I think we can come up with big things. Talking about the GC, I would count on Bartosz as well as Jan in time trials.