Enrico Gasparotto of Astana is the first to abandon the 2012 Vuelta a Espana, the victim of a crash in the opening team time trial. Garmin-Sharp also suffered a large crash, but it appeared that there were no serious injuries.
Gasparotto is leaving the Vuelta “a bit too early ... broken collarbone in 3 places ... bad luck?” he tweeted late Saturday night. He was one of four Astana riders who crashed in the last half of the stage. His teammate Paolo Tiralongo also went to hospital after the stage with a sore hip, but the extent of his injuries are not known.
The team had been in a promising second place at the intermediate time check, but the crash caused them to finish only eleventh, 34 seconds behind winning team Movistar. "Today's result is not important. It is much more important to know how Tiralongo and Gasparotto are doing,” said team manager Giuseppe Martinelli on the team website.
Gasparotto rode the stage to the end, but finished over the time limit.
Garmin-Sharp saw three riders hit the pavement, due to a patch of oil at a sharp left-hand turn within the last five kilometers. Thomas Dekker suffered the most damage, tweeting Sunday morning that he had abrasions and a swollen knee. He is expected to be at the start.
“The consequences don't seem to go beyond a bit of skin,” said sporting director Alan Peiper. “It's a small mistake which hurt us. It's a shame because we had a good start.”
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