Matti Breschel has retired from the Vuelta a Espana after crashing early during the sixth stage to Cordoba. The Rabobank rider suffered a wound on his chin, which needed to be stitched, as well as road rash on his knees, elbows and hips in his crash in the neutralized section of the stage. According to the Rabobank team, he has gone to hospital for x-rays on his chest, ribs and hands.
UPDATE: It looks like Breschel will miss the Worlds, according to Rabobank spokesman Luuc Eisenga. He tweeted that Breschel was found to have broken the middle and ring fingers on his right hand, and will undergo surgery on them as soon as tomorrow. "Normally one week rest and assesment of the situation, forecast worlds impossible now."
Ironically, the Danish national coach announced Thursday morning that Breschel would lead the team.
Breschel, 26, was named as the “undisputed leader” of the Danish team in the road race at the home world championships in Copenhagen on September 25. Breschel won bronze in the road race in 2008 and silver in 2010 behind Thor Hushovd. He will therefore have a say in the make-up of the six man team.
“It is not Matti Breschel who decides who is on the team. But I listen to what he says about the team composition,” national coach Lars Bonde told sporten.dk.
“I think this is the first time as a coach that I can say everybody is ready. I can clearly feel the riders are motivated because it is the World Championships in Denmark,” he said. “But I look at the riders, as they must be able to both hold their position in the field to protect Matti along the way and then be there for him in the final.”
Breschel joined Rabobank this year to spearhead the team's hopes in the Spring Classics but he missed the early part of the season due to a knee injury. He only returned at the Tour of Belgium at the end of May, and did not ride the Tour de France. Two second-place finishes at the Tour of Denmark put him in the leader's jersey for a day, his best results of the year.