José Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) is the latest rider to abandon the Tour Down Under, after he broke his scaphoid in a crash in the final kilometres of the opening stage. The Spaniard was able to finish, but didn’t take the start of stage 2.
“It's a real shame, because I came here with good form, and I wanted to win a stage,” said Rojas. “I went down with about one kilometre to go yesterday. It didn't hurt too much, but it got worse and worse during the night. When I woke up this morning, we realized something was wrong, and I could not start.”
Rojas will fly back to Murcia, Spain on Thursday to have surgery on his wrist. He is the second Movistar rider to be forced out of the Tour Down Under after Giovanni Visconti broke his tibia in a crash during the People’s Choice Classic critérium on Sunday. The Italian underwent surgery to insert a rod into his leg.
Lampre-Merida’s Rafael Valls also fell victim to a crash on stage two. The team reported on Twitter that Valls broke his humerus in a crash during stage 2. His teammate Diego Ulissi beat André Greipel in the sprint and dedicated his victory to the Spaniard.
Following David Tanner’s [Belkin] broken collarbone on stage 1 of the Tour Down Under, Valls' fracture was the fourth in racing in Australia this week. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) also broke his collarbone in the build-up to the Tour Down Under, when he collided with a car during his first training ride following his arrival in Australia.