Several riders have had to abandon the Amgen Tour of California during and after Thursday's stage five to Paso Robles. Amongst them was world champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin Cervélo), still out of luck this season wearing the rainbow jersey.
"I haven't been feeling well since I arrived and today I just felt empty," he said in a press release. "I couldn't continue. I'm very disappointed to leave the team and the race. I would have liked to finish because the last day was a goal for me. I wish the team luck. I'm proud of what we have done here so far."
The stage was equally unlucky for the Saxo Bank-SunGard team, which saw three riders hit the ground: Nick Nuyens, Lucas Sebastian Haedo and Gustav Erik Larsson. The latter was unable to continue the race as he suffered serious injuries to his face. Larsson was taken to hospital, where he received several stitches around his eyebrow.
Nuyens and Haedo were also examined in hospital but said to able to take the start again in Friday's time trial in Solvang.
German Jens Voigt did finish the stage, but then had x-rays in hospital, too. His wrist had been hurting since his crash in stage four, and finally doctors diagnosed a fracture of his scaphoid bone, which will require an operation, the Leopard Trek team announced.