Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Andalucía stage 4

It was a disastrous day for Euskaltel and Koldo Fernández in Andalucía today. The sprinter was, alongside a host of other riders, taken out by an advertising board inside the last 100 metres of the stage. Koldo seemed to be the one worst off, with a collarbone fracture confirmed by the team's website. According to the same website he'll spend the night with his companions at the hotel, before travelling back home in the morning for some check-ups at the local hospital. After a crash-marred 2010 season, it was the last thing the amicable fastman needed. But that's sprinting, I guess. More news on Koldo's condition to follow tomorrow.

The stage itself was one big yawn as far as Euskaltel and Orbea were concerned. The teams failed to animate the flat 174km ride from Jaén to Córdoba, and when the anticipated sprint was about to start, well, it all went awry. An Orbea rider was also involved in the crash, but I didn't manage to identify him in all the mess that ensued. Jon Aberasturi grabbed a moral-boosting eighth at the line, so at least it's not all bad. Romain Sicard stopped by Koldo to check up on his stricken team-mate before crossing the line, but was sensibly given the same finishing-time as the rest. Orbea trio Etxebarria, Zabalo and Cabedo conceded 1:17, 1:19 and 1:19 respectively by day's end.

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