Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) underwent surgery on his broken right elbow last night after crashing out of the Vuelta a España’s overall lead. As well as ending his Vuelta, the injury rules Anton out for the remainder of the season.
Anton’s operation took place at 11pm Saturday night at the Hospital de Cruces in Bilbao, incidentally the same hospital in which the unfortunate Anton had surgery after crashing out of the 2008 Vuelta.
Anton’s teammate Egoi Martinez was involved in the same incident and also had to abandon the Vuelta. The Basque was initially suspected to have sustained a broken collarbone but after being discharged from hospital last night, it emerged that he had suffered a dislocated shoulder.
“Fortunately I have no fracture,” Martinez told El Ciclismo. “The doctors found that I had a dislocated shoulder and trauma to my chest and neck. I’ll be out for a week so that they can monitor my internal bleeding and I’ll have my arm in a sling too.”
Martinez plans to return to racing “soon” but admitted that yesterday’s double crash was a crushing disappointment. “It was the second time that I cried in my whole career,” he explained. “I cried on the road because we do not deserve such misfortune.”
Caisee d’Epargne also had two fallers in the crash, which took place inside the last 7km of stage 14. Marzio Bruseghin and Rigoberto Uran had their hopes of a high overall placing dashed by the incident and last night were rumoured to be on the verge of abandoning the race due to their injuries.
However, according to Biciciclismo, both riders are expected to start stage 15. Uran suffered a heavy blow to the shoulder and forearm in the accident, while Bruseghin needed 19 stitches to his arms. Initially, it was feared that he may also have fractured his clavicle and a rib, but he underwent a series of x-rays after yesterday’s stage and was given the all-clear to start today.