Fränk Schleck apologised after accusing a Française des Jeux rider of crashing into him during the third stage of the Vuelta a Pais Vasco. The Saxo Bank rider went over the barriers inside the final eight kilometres of yesterday's stage, after a rider rode into the back of him.
Schleck was taken to hospital where he had four stitches at the back of his head. He abandoned the race and will take up to three days off the bike.
After the crash, Schleck posted to Twitter, accusing the Française des Jeux rider of causing the crash. But after a night's sleep and a chance to calm down, he had this to say:
"I thought it was a Française des Jeux guy, but it wasn't. It doesn't really matter who it was though. We're one peloton, one big boat, one big family and nobody wants anyone to crash. Of course, we race each other but nobody wants to crash into each other.
"I have to apologise for what I said on Twitter. Firstly it wasn't FDJ, and secondly it doesn't matter. It was stupid and wrong of me to Tweet that it was somebody's fault. I apologize for that.
"I flew over the barriers as I was pretty light compared to him. Of course he didn't do it on purpose, and he was very sorry about it."
Fränk and Andy Schleck are both targeting the Ardennes Classics, which begin next week. Younger brother Andy is the defending champion in Liège - Bastogne - Liège, while Fränk has won Amstel Gold. Both riders have now had less than ideal starts the season. Andy was sidelined for a number of weeks through injury while Fränk's crash yesterday has added to the brothers' early season woes.
However Fränk believes that both riders will hit top form when it matters, next week.
"We're both peaking, but I'll stay with the team having massage and eating the right food for now. Then head to the Classics next week. I'm trying to do everything right," he said.
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