At the beginning of the season, Milram's Matthias Russ said that the Giro d'Italia was his favourite race. He may just change his mind after his experiences in the last two years after the 25-year-old had to leave this year's race in only the second stage, due to injuries.
On the second lap of a closing circuit course in Trieste, Russ hit a manhole cover wrong and went down. An ambulance took him to a local hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with a broken collarbone.
The 25-year-old finished the Giro last year riding for Gerolsteiner, but he had some unhappy moments.
Russ joined an escape group in the sixth stage, which finished 11 minutes ahead of the peloton. Unfortunately for Russ, he finished three seconds behind Quick Step's Giovanni Visconti, giving them virtually the same time for the overall lead. However, the maglia rosa was awarded to the Italian, based on his better time in the opening team time trial.
Coming so close was a bitter disappointment to the young German. "It was almost tragic for me personally, since at first I thought I had ridden into the pink jersey," he told Cyclingnews last week. "Only a little later did I find out that I had missed it due to the team time trial results."
That experience had given him extra motivation for this year, Russ said, "To be perfectly honest, I am still a bit disappointed. But when you have been so close to something once, then you keep this goal and of course that motivates me."
Russ will be out of competition for approximately six weeks.