Mikel Landa’s participation in the 2018 Vuelta a España is in serious doubt after he sustained an injury in a late crash in the 2018 Clásica San Sebastián on Saturday.
The Basque rider was brought down after Ben King (Dimension Data) fell at the front of the peloton on the approach to the final climb with 19km to go. Landa looked in immediate trouble after hitting the ground, and though he remained conscious, was unable to get up as medics rushed to attend to him.
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He was put in a neck brace and on to a stretcher and taken by ambulance to the hospital in Donostia Hospital, where it was confirmed he had a “fracture without displacement of the spinous process in his lumbar vertebra L1.”
His Movistar team confirmed that he would return home and require two to three weeks of complete rest, with the Vuelta a España just a few weeks away, starting on August 25.
The 28-year-old, who had a disappointing Tour de France campaign, was aiming to help deliver an overall win for his team alongside Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde. Movistar did not confirm if he would definitely miss the start of the Vuelta.
Meanwhile, Team Sky’s young superstar Egan Bernal was also brought down and injured in the same crash. Like Landa, he was unable to move and was loaded on to a stretcher by medics before being moved to hospital.
The Colombian suffered serious facial trauma in the crash which required surgery, with scans revealing a nasal fracture and a maxillary injury. Sky confirmed that he would be assessed by maxillofacial specialists and Bernal later confirmed on Twitter that he had undergone successful surgery.
Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step) won the 221km Clásica San Sebastián, attacking with Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) on the steep final climb before beating the Dutchman in a two-up sprint for the line.