Lennert Van Eetvelt will have to sit out Tour de Suisse as well, but his return is approaching: "A return in August, as planned, is certainly feasible"

Surprising winner of this year's UAE Tour Lennert Van Eetvelt won't return to competition as soon as he might have hoped. The road to recover from his knee injury is apparently moving in the right direction for the young Belgian, however to start at Tour de Suisse (June 9-16) won't be possible.

"Lennert is doing better, but his originally planned return in the Tour de Suisse comes too early," says Lotto Dstny's sports director Kurt Van de Wouwer in conversation with Het Nieuwsblad. "The knee problem must be completely resolved before we allow him to return to competition. We are now more likely to aim for, for example, the Sibiu Tour where he won a stage last year."

"His recovery is going smoothly, to the extent that he is currently on an altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada. A return in August, as planned, is certainly feasible and if further recovery goes really well, a few weeks earlier could also be possible."

Van Eetvelt kicked off the season in a big fashion, winning Trofeo Serra Tramuntana (1.1) in his second race day. Then he continued to win the queen stage of UAE Tour as well as the GC. Strade Bianche (March 2) was the last race for the 22-year-old climber for now as he had to cancel his starts at Vuelta a Catalunya, Ardennes Classics, Tour de Hongrie, and most recently the Swiss WorldTour stage race.

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