EE update: Down the Orange Line from Italy

By Martin Hardie

The Giro continues to be melancholy for Euskaltel-Euskadi. Alberto Lopez de Munian, who crashed out of the race on Stage 2, is on the road to recovery, although he is still not well enough to be flown home to the Basque Country.

The hope is that by the end of the coming week, he will be well enough to be flown from Italy to a hospital in his hometown of Vitoria-Gasteiz. There, he will continue to receive treatment on his punctured lung and various broken bones. Head honcho, Miguel Madariaga, tells us that there is still some worry about the state of his lung. His collarbone, says Madariaga, will "require exhaustive tests to ascertain the extent of the damage and it will be a few days until we know how Alberto's situation will evolve". The good news, is that the worst seems to be over.

The team received a further shock on Thursday when David Lopez, who had been on the attack on that day and that before, came down in the last 10 kilometres of the stage. David seemed to try and get himself up and back on his bike, but immediately found himself incapable of doing so.

Team director Gorka Gerrakagoitia stood helplessly beside him, probably wondering how long it would be before the whole team was down and out of the race. With the appearance of the ambulance and stretcher, it seemed inevitable that Euskadi team were going to find themselves two down and counting as the Giro heads towards its business end. But Lopez showed some grit and with the aid of the team's hardest working stalwart, Unai Etxebarria, he limped to the finish 11 minutes down.

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