By Susan Westemeyer
Rabobank will start the Vuelta a Murcia with only seven riders, it announced yesterday. Bram De Groot injured his hand in a crash in the Classica Almeria on Sunday and had to return to the Netherlands for additional examinations. "It is not possible to call up a reserve rider now," said team leader Frans Maassen on the team's website, rabobank.nl. "We will have to ride it with seven men, but that will go well."
De Groot injured the same hand that he hurt in a crash in the Tour Down Under earlier this year. The hand remained swollen on Monday, and he returned home.
The Dutch ProTour team will now send Thomas Dekker, Jan Boven, Denis Menchov, Dmitriy Kozontchouk, Tom Leezer, Bauke Mollema and Graeme Brown to Murcia.