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Broken leg for Rojas in Vuelta a Espana - News Shorts

José Joaquín Rojas will not finish the Vuelta a España with his teammate, overall winner Nairo Quintana, after crashing and breaking his leg during stage 20.

The Spanish road race champion was part of the day's breakaway when he was forced wide by a race vehicle on the descent of the Alto de Tollos, causing him to slide out into and underneath a guard rail, his leg slamming into one of the supports.

Rojas was transported to the Hospital Virgen de los Lirios in Alcoy where open fractures of his tibia and fibula were confirmed. He was immediately admitted for surgery. He will be transferred to Murcia for additional surgery.

Quintana, who held onto his lead in the overall classification on the penultimate stage, gave tribute to Rojas after the finish. "We want him to recover to 100% and get on his bike again as quickly as possible."

Tour de France start in Quebec unlikely

The director of the Tour de France Christian Prudhomme considered the possibility of a Tour de France start in Quebec. Speaking at the GP Quebec WorldTour race on Friday, the Frenchman did not rule out such a journey for the race, but Quebec organisers said it would be unlikely.

"Logistics for me is never the first question," Prudhomme said according to Le Soleil. "The first question is: does it make sense? Is this natural? Are there any champions? Is there history? [...] Without the victory of Bradley Wiggins in 2012 at the Tour de France, we would never have gone to England two years later. The champions have a significant role in a project like this."

Prudhomme praised the races in Canada, and the direction of Serge Aresnault, who invited him to attend the events.

"The races organised in Quebec City and Montreal by Serge Arsenault are very beautiful," Prudhomme said. "After, to imagine the rest, it is necessary that people know. I never want to put the cart before the horse. We must first build relationships with people to make things possible."

Arsenault said that having the Tour de France visit Canada was discussed but admitted it was a logistically difficult proposition.

"We discussed it. [...] No, that would be ridiculous in sport. We cannot ask athletes to suffer a six hour time change and then another six hour shift and still be competitive in a race as tough as the Tour de France," Arsenault said.

"Second, the costs for such a project, to bring in the same cyclists we have today are absolutely ridiculous," said Arsenault. "That money can be used to develop our own cyclists at home. We immediately agreed that it was a very bad idea. [...] We need recurring events where we are the owners and makers of every action we take."

Fraile takes over Vuelta mountains classification

Omar Fraile (Dimension Data) leapfrogged FDJ's Kenny Elissonde to take the lead in the Vuelta a España's mountains classification on stage 20, and with no more mountains on the final parade into Madrid, the Spaniard need only finish the stage to take home the polka dot jersey.

The 26-year-old came into the stage just three points off Elissonde for the classification, and with four category 2 ascents before the final HC climb of the Alto de Aitano, Fraile knew he had to make his mark on the first part of the stage. He went in a move with Elissonde and then out-kicked the Frenchman for the points.

"Today was a hard day. I was able to get into the early break. Elissonde attacked 3km from the first KOM but I was able to counter his move and get the points there," Fraile said.

That move was absorbed, and Fraile missed portion of the breakaway that stuck to the finish, but fortunately Elissonde was unable to bring back two attackers that mopped up the points on the penultimate climb, and could only manage a single point - not enough to overtake Fraile.

"I had an issue with my bike after the climb when the other break went and couldn't get in there, so I was nervous until the end of the stage. Now I'm just really happy. To get this jersey was a big motivation for me."

De la Cruz moves into seventh in Vuelta GC

Spaniard David De La Cruz (Etixx-Quickstep) moved himself into seventh overall at the Vuelta a España with a strong ride on stage 20's Alto de Aitana.

The 27-year-old already made his mark on the race with a stage victory on the Alto del Naranco on stage 9, but was thrilled to move up higher in the standings

"When I came to the Vuelta, I was thinking of getting a victory. To finish the race in the top 10 was a dream for me, but after Alto del Naranco – which is a moment I'll always remember – I began thinking and believing in my GC prospects.

"I fought hard for this, was helped by a fantastic team, and to be in the top 10 riders here after winning a stage and wearing the red jersey gives me great joy and extra motivation for the future. I want to enjoy this moment and continue to work hard in order to make other important steps and become an even better rider."

Vuelta a Espana - Stage 20 Video Highlights

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