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Freire down but not out

A crash in Switzerland caused shock waves in France. Rabobank team manager Erik Breukink was watching the Tour de Suisse on the TV in the team bus at the Dauphiné Libéré and was horrified to see his star sprinter Oscar Freire crash heavily only 600 metres before the finish line. The preliminary injury report was positive. "Oscar at least did not tear or break anything, and also did not sustain any bruises," Directeur Sportif Adri van Houwelingen said on the team's website, rabobank.nl.

However, he noted further that the Spaniard was complaining about shoulder and neck pain. "But that also seems to be fine. With these kinds of complaints, you always need to wait and see. Sometimes they worsen overnight, but Oscar is in good hands here. I think he will be all right."

Actually, according to van Houwelingen, Freire was lucky. He crashed when two riders behind him went down, with one of them clipping his rear wheel. He went down, narrowly avoiding a traffic sign. "That's what makes these crashes so scary," van Houwelingen noted. "You cannot see it coming. Otherwise, you can prepare yourself for it. ... All in all, I think Oscar and the team got away with it very well."

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