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Moletta returns to racing

By Susan Westemeyer

Team Gerolsteiner didn't really expect Andrea Moletta to return to racing this season after his horrendous crash in Milano-San Remo in March. The Italian was in an escape group when he somersaulted into a lamppost and low stone wall, breaking his femur. But he swore to team chief Hans Michael Holczer that he would be back no later than the Vuelta a Espana in September, and it turns out that he has recovered faster than even he expected. Moletta is now scheduled to start in the Brixia Tour, which starts July 26.

"My leg is not bad, but not perfect," he told Cyclingnews. "The race won't be easy. I will start and then I'll see. But my recovery comes first. Hopefully it will continue as good as it has until now."

"At the end of the season, I will not have as many racing days as in most years. But it's July and there are still a lot of races I can do." So far he has ridden six races this year: Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour of Algarve, GP Chiasso, GP Lugano and Milano-San Remo.

Moletta, 28 years old, turned pro in 2003. He joined Gerolsteiner in 2005 to assist Davide Rebellin. However, he has developed into a 'vice-captain' in some of the classics, and was scheduled to be a captain in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, which he had to miss because of his accident.

After the crash, doctors put a plate into his broken right thigh. At that time, the doctors wouldn't say when he might return to action, but he continued to claim that he would ride the Vuelta. He returned to training the beginning of June.

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