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José Joaquín Rojas (Caisse d'Epargne),
Jose Joaquin Rojas, Caisse d'Epargne's team leader, will not start the final stage of the Vuelta a...
Jose Joaquin Rojas, Caisse d'Epargne's team leader, will not start the final stage of the Vuelta a Mallorca Challenge on Thursday after two crashes left him injured.
Rojas was involved in a fall with Vicente Reynes at kilometer nine of the race's queen stage. He suffered a heavy blow to his knee, which has subsequently limited his ability to pedal throughout the stage.
"I was about to get off the bike because I hurt, but the doctor gave me something to calm the pain," said Rojas. "Little by little, I was back to motivating my teammates for the rest of the stage, but before the first ascent of the Coll de Sóller, I fell again, this time hitting my other knee."
Rojas still wanted to finish the stage if for no other reasons than "personal pride" and wanting to reciprocate the work of his teammates. However, the pain in his knees and the pace imposed by eventual stage winner Antonio Colom (Team Katusha) caused him to decide on the second ascent of the Coll de Sóller to withdraw after the end of the stage, in which he finished 19th.
"I tried to pick up my pace, but I was afraid for my body. And on top of that, my radio got caught in my front wheel, causing it to wobble side to side for the last 10km," said Rojas, who was 12th overall when he withdrew.
"My knee is very inflamed, and it's more important to recover now."