While an early crash on the Amgen Tour of California’s fifth stage claimed big names like Lance Armstrong (Radioshack) and Stuart O’Grady (Saxo Bank) there have been no serious injuries reported from the incident. Armstrong received eight stitches under his left eye before being transported to Bakersfield Memorial Hospital where precautionary x-rays showed no broken bones.
Armstrong had feared a broken elbow after the pile-up, which led to his abandonment around 10 kilometres later. “It was a shame to have to abandon early and not be able to help Levi to another victory,” said Armstrong. “It was one of those crashes that put a bunch of us down.
“I tried to give it a go but my eye was swollen so I couldn't see properly and the pain in the elbow prevented me from holding the bars for the remainder of the stage,” he added. “It was a relief to learn there were no breaks. I will take a few days to recover and be on the bike as soon as possible.”
Cervelo Test Team’s Heinrich Haussler also suffered some bad news as a result of the crash, with the rider’s knee pains returning. California marked the German rider’s return after his knee injury plagued the first half of the year, cancelling what was hoped would be a successful Spring Classics campaign.
“I fell twice during the Tour of California and now my knee hurts but not at the same place as my previous injury,” said Haussler. “As a precaution, I will now return to Switzerland, to the CrossKlink in Basel for a check to be 100 percent prepared for the Tour de France.”