Euskaltel-Euskadi climber Igor Antón has been given the all-clear to return to full training by medical staff who had been treating the injuries he received when he crashed out of the Vuelta a España when leading the race. Antón fractured his elbow when he fell on a fast descent 6km from the finish of stage 14. He had already picked up two stage wins and looked well set for at least a podium finish in his national tour.
The 27-year-old rider, who has been working on the turbo and doing some light road work, will now join up with the rest of his team-mates at Euskaltel’s first pre-season gathering at Derio in the Basque Country on November 21. Speaking on Basque television, Antón said that his goal in 2011 is to return to the Vuelta with the intention of winning the title.
“I’ve still got the memories of 14 very happy days there [this year], it was like living a dream,” said Antón. “I won two very beautiful stages and was leader of the race for a few days, which showed me that I can aim for victory in a grand tour. I will return with the intention of winning it. I’ve already had a few knocks in life and I know how to deal with situations of this kind. The only lesson that I can take from it is that in 2011 I will return stronger than ever.”
Also joining Antón at the Euskaltel gathering in Derio will be Juanjo Oroz, who fractured his left cheekbone during a training crash last week. Speaking to the El Pedal de Frodo website, Oroz explained that he had seen Caisse d’Epargne’s Imanol Erviti and Katusha’s Vladimir Karpets riding in the opposite direction and turned round to catch up with them. As he chased up to them, he hit a pot-hole and fell face-first onto the road, losing consciousness for a few moments.
“It was nothing really, the kind of accident that happens when you’re not expecting it, no more than that. The crash I had [on stage 2] at the Tour de France hurt me more, not in terms of the injuries I received, but because when you crash at the Tour you get much more angry about it. But I learned a lot from that crash and rest assured I will learn from this latest one,” said Oroz.