Ruben Plaza and Mikel Landa suffer fractures in second stage of Vuelta a Murcia
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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ruben Plaza and Mikel Landa suffer fractures in second stage of Vuelta a Murcia

by Jered Gruber at 5:26 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Movistar's Plaza breaks tibia and fibula, while Euskaltel's Landa fractures collarbone

It was a day of success for the day's top three teams at the Vuelta a Murcia. Saxo Bank, Geox-TMC, and Saur-Sojasun all finished the day in prime position for the overall win and saw their three general classification hopes all riding extremely well. Unfortunately, Movistar, another top team so far this season and a contender for the general classification this weekend, saw two of its top climbers, Ruben Plaza and Juan Mauricio Soler, hit the ground on the final eight kilometer descent to the finish.

Both Plaza and Soler were in groups just behind the day's three protagonists when they crashed. The 31 year old Plaza has enjoyed a success at Murcia in the past with two stage wins to his credit coming in 2005 and 2009, but on Saturday, his Murcian luck left him, and he sustained a broken right tibia and fibula just a few kilometers from the day's end. Plaza will undergo surgery as soon as possible according to his team.

Soler, who was attacked earlier on the same climb, crashed hard, but sustained only minor bumps, scrapes, and bruises, but still ended up a DNF.

While the loss of Plaza will be unfortunate, the Movistar team can at least take solace in the fact that they didn't lose their enigmatic and accident/injury prone Colombian climber, Soler.

Movistar weren't the only team to lose a rider to a broken bone on Saturday. Euskaltel-Euskadi's young 21 year old, Mikel Landa Meana, has hit a speed bump in his neo-pro season. The Basque rider suffered a fractured right clavicle in the destructive second stage.


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