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Injured Tour riders returning to racing
Andreas Klöden and Janez Brajkovic will ride the Vuelta a Espana for RadioShack. The team announced that the two captains, who both had abandon the Tour de France due to injuries, were among the seven riders already set for the race in Spain, which starts on August 20.
Klöden crashed numerous times in the Tour, and had to leave the race on the 13th stage with back problems. The Vuelta will be his first race back. “Klöden has focused on recovering from the crashes and has started light training,” team manger Johan Bruyneel told BiciCiclismo.com.
Klöden “was the best” in the Tour, and if he had not been injured, “would likely have been on the podium,” Bruyneel said.
Brajkovic was the first of RadioShack's four Tour captains to leave the race, when he suffered a concussion and broken collarbone in a crash on the fifth stage. As preparation for the Vuelta he will ride the Tour of Utah (August 7-14).
The team's other two Tour captains were Christopher Horner, who abandoned the race with a concussion after the seventh stage, and Levi Leipheimer, the only one of the four to finish the race. Both will ride the Tour of Utah and the US ProCycling Challenge in Colorado (August 22-28).
The other five riders nominated for the Vuelta are Spaniards Haimar Zubeldia and Markel Irizar, and Portugese riders Tiago Machado, Sergio Paulinho and Nelson Oliveira. The remaining two riders will be announced later.