Christian Vande Velde?s Giro d?Italia ended 50km from the end the stage to Valdobbiadene on Monday, when he crashed at speed on a descent.
The Garmin-Slipstream team leader fell with team mate David Zabriskie. Zabriskie got up and finished the stage but Vande Velde was taken to hospital and diagnosed with two broken ribs, severe contusion and sprain to his mid back, a blow to his hip and a series of cuts and bruises.
He will return to his home in Gerona Spain as soon as possible for further treatment but for now he should be okay for July?s Tour de France.
Vande Velde was fifth in last year’s Tour, and was hoping to use the Giro to find some early condition before making a serious bid for the 2009 edition of the Tour.
ARMSTRONG AVOIDS THE CARNAGE
Lance Armstrong avoided the crashes in the finale of the stage to Valdobbiadene by fighting for position near the front of the peloton.
After the stage he posted on his Twitter feed: ?Done with St 3. Another crazy/fast day. These boys ain’t playin’. Crowds were amazing and very enthusiastic. Mtn’s start tomorrow.?
?I just tried to stay out of trouble again,? Armstrong said after the finish.
?We had another dangerous circuit. The best place to be is in the front if you can, avoid the crashes, avoid the things we saw today. I heard a couple but missed them all, thank goodness.?
“In less then a second your career can change, your life can change. I mean I’ve seen all examples. I’ve seen somebody die. I’ve seen somebody lose a career and I’ve seen somebody lose a season,” Armstrong continued.
“The bike races are going faster now with the surfaces of the roads, the equipment, the way that the wheels roll now. I think we have to evaluate in the future how we do the finales with 200 fit guys and fast bikes. It’s hard.?
SWIFT CAUGHT BEHIND CRASH
Britain?s Ben Swift was hoping to fight out the finish in Valdobbiadene after his impressive third place behind Petacchi and Cavendish in Trieste.
The slightly uphill finish suit him and his coach Rod Ellingworth had advised him to start his sprint early to surprise the other sprinters.
Unfortunately, it wasn?t too be. Swift was caught behind the crash that blocked Cavendish and finished 138th at 2-50.
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