Oscar Freire (Katusha) will spend the next two to three days in the local Metz hospital after being involved in the high speed crash during the final hour of the Tour de France's stage six. The fall and subsequent time in hospital has put Freire’s Olympic participation in serious doubt.
It’s a double blow for the Spanish squad who are already a man down following Luis León Sánchez’s (Rabobank) wrist injuries. He has been nursing his injuries at the back of the bunch with Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and the extent of his problems will be tested as the race hits the first serious climbs in stage seven,
Freire amazingly finished the stage, albeit over six minutes behind the stage winner Peter Sagan (Liquigas – Cannondale) but will not take to the start of stage seven. A statement released by his Katusha team described Freire’s condition.
“In the fall, the three times World Champion broke the third rib in his right chest, and suffered a wound to his pleura (membrane covering of the lungs). Freire will have to stay at the hospital under observation for three days at least, then the doctors will decide when he will be able to come back home.”
Freire’s had intended to retire at the end of the 2012 season but much of this decision was to be based around his result at the world championships where he hopes to take a fourth title. Without an Olympic road race to contend for, his final season goals will be focused greatly around the world championship race.