Tom Boonen has been forced to abandon the Vuelta a España after being involved in a pile up prior to the Alto del Cordal during stage 15. The Belgian was able to finish the stage, despite a serious contusion on his left hand.
"I was 20th in the group when in the span of a moment I found myself on the ground, due to a sudden movement of the peloton," Boonen explained in a Quickstep media release.
"I immediately understood that my problem was serious, but I wanted to finish the race and then evaluate what to do together with the team's medical staff. I didn't even manage to hold the handlebar, I had a lot of trouble getting to the finish line."
Tests carried out at the General Hospital in Gijon revealed Boonen had sustained a fracture to his left scaphoid.
The 30-year-old has been struggling throughout the Vuelta, revealing late last week that he was suffering from an uncomfortable groin wound. It’s now highly unlikely the 2005 world champion will be in a position to compete in Copenhagen later this month.
"It's a really tough moment for me," Boonen said of his abandonment. "I was doing really well in the past few days and, as we're getting closer to the World Championship, it was perfect. The entire scenario changed in a moment. I am very disappointed."
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