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peloton / Yuzuru Sunada
Because of a massive crash at ten kilometers from the finish in Cassino at the Giro d’Italia, three Katusha riders had to abandon the race. Angel Vicioso and Giampaolo Caruso finished the stage in the ambulance. Joaquim Rodriguez finished the race but fractures, revealed later in the Santa Scolastica Hospital of Cassino, made an end of his race, too.
Angel Vicioso suffers the worst injury. A threefold complex right femur fracture was diagnosed. Vicioso will be transported to Rome where he will undergo an operation.
Joaquim Rodriguez suffers a rib fracture, as well as a left thumb fracture. The doctors feared for a left elbow fracture too, but that appeared not to be the case.
In addition, Giampaolo Caruso underwent X-rays to check his left hip, left leg and left collar bone. No new fractures were diagnosed for Caruso, but he will not start in stage 7 because of large contusions.
“It hurts to leave the Giro, but there is no other option,” said Joaquim Rodriguez. “The crashes were bad for all of us. The road was very slippery and we were going 60K an hour. Just touching your breaks was enough to crash. But that is a risk we always take. It is part of our job to try to be in the front to fight for the victory. I really cannot blame the organization or the local roads. After the crash I got back on my bike immediately, more full of agression and determination, but after a while I clearly felt what the problem was, as I could not breath anymore.”
For Rodriguez the Giro d’Italia was his biggest goal of the season. “I have to say that before the Giro I already had two broken ribs (numbers 9 and 10) because of my crash in the Amstel Gold race. We did not want to communicate about it as we were afraid that our competitors would attack me in the first Giro days, but now I have broken another rib (number 8), as well as my thumb. There is no other option than to stop. After the Amstel I suffered so much and I worked so hard to arrive in top condition at the Giro. It was already a hard task to do it after my earlier rib fractures. The start of the Giro was not so good for me. I suffered a lot in the team time trial. It was my first effort after Liège. Yesterday I felt that everything went better. I am so disappointed now, especially after our team performance yesterday to Viggiano. All our nine riders were so ready for this race.”
Giampaolo Caruso: “Fortunately I have no extra fractures besides my scaphoid fracture from my Belfast crash. I flew 20 meters and came to stillstand against a traffic island. I cannot move my left leg anymore. It is swollen because of big contusions. This is a black day for us all.”