Roche’s injuries assessed, will decide tomorrow if he will continue in Dauphiné
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Roche’s injuries assessed, will decide tomorrow if he will continue in Dauphiné

by Shane Stokes at 4:46 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Critérium du Dauphiné, Injury
Tough day for Ag2r La Mondiale with Kadri out due to injury

Nicolas RocheAlthough he finished the stage, the chances of Nicolas Roche fighting for his stated goal of a top eight overall finish in the Critérium du Dauphiné evaporated today when the Irishman crashed heavily.

Roche hit the deck inside the final 25 kilometres of the mountain stage to Les Gets, and lost several minutes due to the trauma of the crash. He remounted and continued on to the finish, but crossed the line a full 25 minutes 6 seconds to stage winner Christophe Kern (Europcar). He dropped from sixteenth to 131st overall as a result.

The Irishman had his injuries assessed this evening; a decision as to whether or not he will continue the race will be taken tomorrow morning.

“The Ag2r La Mondiale rider suffers a deep wound in his right elbow and a sore chin. He was transported to the clinic in Cluses where those wounds were cleaned and stitches have been given,” stated a team spokesperson. “It was confirmed after exploration that the joints were not affected. Nicolas is also suffering from superficial wounds in the chest, thigh and hip.”

The team was earlier hit by the withdrawal of the talented young rider Blel Kadri from the race. The 24 year old did not start today’s stage due to a leg problem, and instead had a MRI at the University Hospital of Grenoble.

“The review confirmed a tear in the left calf that forces him to take two weeks off,” the team said. “He will be checked again then and a MRI done; depending on how the injury heals, a decision will be made in consultation with the medical team as regards his participation in the Tour de France.”

General manager Vincent Lavenu is, as expected, demoralised by a tough day for the squad.

"It's a big disappointment, particularly for the riders who have worked hard to prepare for the Dauphiné. It is also a disappointment for the team that lost two of its leaders in good physical shape,” he said. “The Critérium du Dauphiné is a major goal for us and a lot of work has been done. We had great expectations for this race.

“The objective was to place a rider in the top five overall and we were counting particularly on Nicolas Roche. Moreover, Blel Kadri would absolutely have the best support today saw the arrival profile. We lose two major assets, but we still have a few cards in hand with Christophe Riblon, who is growing in strength, and Jean-Christophe Peraud, who is always there. Maxime Bouet has also fought well. "

However the team had one consolation, in that it took over the lead in the teams general classification.

The Dauphiné is a very important race for it as it takes place in is home region. Lavenu will hope that Roche can continue tomorrow, but the most important goal of all is for him to be fully ready for the Tour de France. If there is any risk that remaining in the race will jeopardise his recovery, he may opt not to start.


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