April 15, 2011
The Belgian Omega Pharma-Lotto team announced today the termination of its contract with Australian rider Matt Lloyd.
The team strongly clarified that doping was not behind the decision but hinted at unspecified behavioral reasons for the termination of the specialist climber.
Lloyd won the climber’s competition at the 2010 Giro d’Italia but had a difficult winter after being hit by a car in Melbourne in December. He underwent surgery on his shoulder and also suffered spinal injuries.
“Of late, subconscious elements have crept in slowly and steadily leading to a bogus phase of being so eager to be involved mixed with the slow process of recovery we cannot be 100 percent sure the first race will be of the highest quality, but thankfully the people surrounding me have blessed me with the confidence to once again feel the heat around the corner. Not to mention a brilliant team who’ve given me the opportunity to once again step it up a notch in order to remain directly driven towards the event I anticipate the most – The Giro D’Italia..
“If I’ve been bleeding in places you cant see, and feeling the affects of doors being locked, I’ve called the people who change the locks, and the gate is open…All I have to do is ‘open the gate’..”
“There was a lady and she was on her way to a Valentine’s date and she was late,” he explained. “She turned into a driveway and she wasn’t looking. She said, ‘sorry, sorry I’m running late for my Valentine’s date.’ I said, ‘don’t worry about it it’s just my knee, make sure you’re not late for cupid’s arrow.’ She was pretty nice and I just thought, shit happens, let it go.”
It is his second back injury, following damage to his lower back in a crash at the Amstel Gold Race in 2009. “There’s damage to two or three parts of the upper part of the spine, which is okay for me because I think last year I broke seven of the lower ones so I’m trying to spread it out a bit,’’ Lloyd said.
The X Rays show it’s (vertebrae) a bit buckled and twisted due to the swelling, but generally according to what (the doctors) said that can slowly repair itself and everything can come back together quite smoothly.