Clarke out of the Vuelta a Espana due to fractured shoulder

Further checks on rest day reveal extent of Australian's injuries

Simon Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac) will not start Wednesday's stage of the Vuelta a Espana after further medical checks and an MRI scan confirmed that he suffered a fractured scapula and a series of other shoulder injuries during his high-speed crash on stage 10 on Monday.

Clarke got back up to finish the stage, riding up the final climb to Lagos de Covadonga using just one arm. He vowed to try to stay in the race but headed home while his Cannondale-Drapac teammates prepared for the second half of the race and Wednesday's stage from Colunga to Pena Cabarga.

The Australian tweeted his long list of injuries: "Diagnosis: Dislocated shoulder & Grade 1-2 separation of AC joint. Chances of continuing are slim but will make a decision Wed AM. #LaVuelta."

On Tuesday evening he wrote: "Diagnosis #2: Now I know why I was in so much pain. MRI = Fractured scapula, Bankart lesion, Hill-Sachs lesion, SLAP Tear 5, & Hemarthosis."

A Bankart lesion is an injury to the cartilage in the shoulder socket, a Hill-Sachs lesion is caused by the dislocation of the shoulder, while a SLAP Tear 5 is a muscle tear in the shoulder. It is not clear if Clarke will undergo surgery to help his recovery or if he will be able to race again this season.

The Cannondale-Drapac team confirmed that Clarke wouldn't start before heading to the start of the stage. He is the first rider from the US team to quit this year's Vuelta a Espana. The team hopes Andrew Talansky can fight for a top ten place in the overall classification with Joe Dombrowski and Pierre Rolland expected to target the remaining mountain stages.

 

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