Differing fortunes for Paris-Nice crash victims Costa, Seeldraeyers and Kristoff
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Differing fortunes for Paris-Nice crash victims Costa, Seeldraeyers and Kristoff

by VeloNation Press at 8:06 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice, Injury
Two out of race, one can continue

Rui CostaAlthough it was initially feared that he had fractured his wrist in a crash yesterday on the first road stage of Paris-Nice, the Movistar team has confirmed that Rui Costa is not as badly hurt as was first thought.

Costa, the team’s designated leader for the WorldTour event, hit the deck approximately seventy kilometres from the finish. He tried to continue but was forced to withdraw from the race.

Given stitches soon after the crash, the Portuguese rider later underwent a complete medical check at a treatment centre in Fontainebleau. That examination ruled out any fracture to the bones in his wrist and he was able to join his team-mates at their hotel last night. He will head back to Portugal today, and will have a rejigged racing schedule to try to keep him on track after the unexpected withdrawal.

Costa won a stage of the Tour de France in 2011 and last year was the overall victor in the Tour de Suisse. After riding well earlier this year, he was seen as one of the big GC contenders for Paris-Nice.

Astana Pro Team rider Kevin Seeldraeyers also hit the deck yesterday and while he finished the stage, he later pulled out of the race due to the damage he suffered.

“I crashed hard and got a cut below my left knee that is very deep and needs stitches. I can move the knee and bend it, but if I move and bend it a lot the stitches can come out, and then I have to go back to the doctor,” he explained. “I'm off the bike for eight days until it can heal enough to pedal.”

Astana Pro Team Director Sportif Dmitriy Fofonov said that the injury was regrettable, both for Seeldraeyers himself and also for the squad. “He comes off the bike for at least eight days, but he remains motivated and intends on a quick return to racing. It's a serious loss for the team and for Fuglsang in the mountains.”

Meanwhile the Norwegian sprinter Alexander Kristoff also fell and crossed the line last, over seventeen minutes behind the stage winner Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ). He suffered bruising to his sacrum and back, and also had cuts and bruises to his left shoulder, leg and thigh. He also hit his head in the impact.

The Katusha rider and his team made the decision today that he would continue in the race, and he joined the other riders for the start of stage two of the Race to the Sun.

He’s stiff and sore but his outcome is better than that of Costa and Seeldraeyers, in terms of being able to keep racing.


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