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Broken Barredo leaves Vuelta

There were 20 in the bunch and the little one said, 'fall over

There were 20 in the bunch and the little one said, 'fall over (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Boonen feeling fine

Quick Step's Carlos Barredo will not contest today's Vuelta a España stage when the event resumes in Barbastro. The rider has taken advice from the Belgian squad's medical staff to rest after X-rays revealed a micro-fracture on his right scaphoid during yesterday's rest day.

"Together with the medical staff of the team I decided to not take the risk," said Barredo. "The next stages are very hard and I cannot ride in this condition.

With his band in plaster and doctors ordering he rest for two weeks for the injury to heal, Barredo will miss the World Championships this month in Italy.

"It's a shame," he added. "I'm in very good shape otherwise and participating in the World Championships was one of my dreams. This time It's really hard to stop, also because the mood of the team is perfect."

Barredo's team-mate Tom Boonen on the other hand has bounced back from his involvement in a massive bunch crash on Thursday's Vuelta stage. Boonen had a sesssion with Quick Step physiotherapist Joris Van Roy during the rest day and is reportedly feeling much better.

"Tonight I didn't sleep well," said Boonen. "I couldn't find the right position because of the scrapes, but it's pretty normal after a crash like that. I was afraid that my back could have serious problem but fortunately the mobility of my back is not compromised. I rode my bike this morning for two hours without any evident problems. I approach the Pyrenees with more optimism."

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French national champion Sylvain Chavanel (Quickstep), a veteran of 13 Grand Tours will be sharing his experiences and insights as he rides the 2011 Vuelta a Espana. Chavanel has won 38 races in his career, including multiple stages of the Tour de France. A noted time trialist, Chavanel has shown his versatility in recent years, and has developed into one of the strongest cobbled Classics riders in the peloton.

The 32-year-old has had a lean 2011 season by his own lofty standards and will be looking to have a successful Vuelta as he prepares for the UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen.