Rodriguez Abandons Giro d'Italia Following Crash
Because of the Katusha team's unfortunate failure to position its leaders safely at the front of the peloton, several Katusha riders were implicated in a major crash, which occurred approximately ten kilometers from the finish line of stage 6 of this year's Giro in Montecassino. The injuries caused by the crash has forced Katusha's Joaquim Rodriguez, Giampaolo Caruso and Angel Vicioso to exit the race.
While Vicioso and Caruso finished the stage in ambulances, Rodriguez managed to complete the stage on his bike.
X-ray examinations conducted earlier this evening in the Santa Scolastica Hospital of Cassino revealed fractures for both Rodriguez and Vicioso. Vicioso is suffering from a complex threefold right femur fracture. Rodriguez is suffering from a painful rib fracture as well as a fracture on his left thumb. Early examinations, including feedback from Rodriguez himself, caused doctors to fear he was suffering from a left elbow fracture, but this suspicion was not confirmed on the x-ray images.
Additionally, Caruso underwent x-ray examinations to inspect the condition of his left hip, left leg and left collarbone. No fractures were diagnosed for Caruso. Because of large contusions he will, however, not be at the start of tomorrow's stage 7 of the Giro.
Vicioso will be transported to Rome where he will undergo surgery to reassemble his right femur.
"It hurts to leave the Giro, but there is no other option," Rodriguez explained. "The crashes were bad for all of us. The road was very slippery and we were going 60 kilometers an hour. Just touching your breaks was enough to cause a crash. But that is a risk we always take. It is part of our job to try to be at the front to fight for the victory."
"I really cannot blame the organization or the local roads. After the crash I got back on my bike immediately, even more full of aggression and determination, but after a while I clearly felt what the problem was, as I could not breathe any longer," Rodriguez added.
For Rodriguez the 2014 Giro d’Italia was the main goal of his season.
"I have to say that before the Giro I already had two broken ribs (rib 9 and rib 10) because of my crash in the Amstel Gold race. We did not want to communicate about it as we were afraid that our competitors would attack me in the first Giro days, but now I have broken another rib (rib 8) as well as my thumb. There is no other option for me than to stop," Rodriguez explained.
"After the Amstel Gold Race I suffered so much and I worked so hard to arrive in top condition at the Giro. It was already a hard task to do it after my earlier rib fractures. The start of the Giro was not so good for me. I suffered a lot in the team time trial. It was my first effort after Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Yesterday I felt that everything went better. I am so disappointed now," Rodriguez concluded.
Despite his serious state, Caruso attempted to remain optimistic like many other professional cyclists when crashes and accidents occur. "Fortunately I have no extra fractures besides my scaphoid fracture from my Belfast crash. Today, I flew twenty meters and came to a standstill against a traffic island. I cannot move my left leg anymore. It is swollen because of big contusions. This is a black day for us all."