Fractured thumb and stitches for Lopez after Suisse crash

Defending champion abandons race

A hard crash forced Astana's Miguel Ángel López to abandon the Tour de Suisse midway through Wednesday's fifth stage. Making only his second race appearance of the 2017 season after a winter and spring spent recovering from a broken tibia, López now finds himself again recovering from injuries.

López hit the deck on the descent from the Simplon Pass with some 70 kilometres left to race. He tried to continue on but climbed off before long, and was then taken to hospital for evaluation. The 23-year-old Colombian was diagnosed with a fractured right thumb and had sustained abrasions to his right side, and also required two stitches, according to Astana.

The overall winner at the Tour de Suisse in 2016, López had battled back from early struggles on Tuesday's mountainous fourth stage to finish eighth on the climb to Villars-Sur-Ollon, and was sitting 10th overall when he pulled out of the race on Wednesday.

A lingering leg injury suffered in a training crash last autumn laid López low through May, forcing him to miss a scheduled start at the Tour of California and delaying his build-up for his debut Tour de France participation. Last week's GP du canton d'Argovie had been his first racing appearance of 2017.

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