Txurruka questionable for final stage in País Vasco
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Txurruka questionable for final stage in País Vasco

by Bjorn Haake at 1:03 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Amets Txurruka may be unable to defend his climber's jersey in today's final stage of the Volta al País Vasco. Txurruka crashed in yesterday's stage and has broken his right collarbone. The fracture does not appear to be a complicated one and the final stage is a 22km individual time trial, but the injury may still prove too much for the Euskaltel-Euskadi rider for finishing the race.

Txurruka will decide just before the stage on Saturday if he can pull through this. Taking the climber's jersey would be his first major victory.

The Basque rider crashed in the fifth stage while leading the race, with less than 15km to go. He came down just before entering a right-hand bend. After getting back up and receiving mechanical help from the neutral support, Txurruka had to stop again a little later. He was examined by the team's doctor, with passing riders looking on. Txurruka was eventually cleared to ride, indicating that the fracture is not a bad one.

He was suffering terribly on the final climb of the day, the alto de Aia, with gradients of up to 22 percent. The many fans cheered him on and he received a few pushes to help him get over the wall.

Txurruka turned professional in 2006 with the Barloworld team, before switching to  Euskaltel-Euskadi in 2007. His ever-aggressive riding style has made him popular with the fans. His best result so far was the second place in stage 13 of the 2009 Tour de France. On a rainy and horribly cold day in the Alsace region, he had to surrender only to Heinrich Haussler.


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