Cameron Wurf (Liquigas-Cannondale) is set to miss his second straight Grand Tour after a rib-injury sustained while racing in Italy a month ago, flared up at the Eneco Tour. The former rower was officially ruled out yesterday when the Vuelta organisers realeased the final start list for the race, but the Australian had known his fate since Monday.
"Should i have noticed when the initial fracture actually occured 4 weeks ago while racing in Arona I would probably well and truly be healed up by now," said Wurf on his blog.
"Instead I have managed to aggravate the fracture and in turn made it worse [when I raced at Eneco] which has put my recovery back probably 3 weeks. Unfortunately this means I'll miss another Grand Tour for the 2011 season."
The team and Wurf made the decision in consultation with medical staff, after it became clear that the chance of re-fracturing the rib again were too high.
"While the selfish side of me would be prepared to take the risk - as I still feel even with the pain at the moment i could do a good job - the risk of somthing going wrong and jeoporadising the team's effort to defend Vincenzo Nibali's crown, meant the only option was to step aside."
The blow is particulalry demoralising for Wurf, who missed the Tour de France earlier in the year after coming down with a stomach virus two weeks out from the July 2 start. The former Olympic rower will now change his focus and schedule as he wraps up his season before heading back to Australia.