Movistar loses Francisco Pérez and Rubén Plaza in first Eneco Tour stage
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Movistar loses Francisco Pérez and Rubén Plaza in first Eneco Tour stage

by Ben Atkins at 4:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Eneco Tour, Injury
Spanish team’s bad luck continues in Benelux race on a day of crashes and fractures

ruben perezThe first stage of the Eneco Tour, between Oosterhout and Sint-Willebrord, was another bad day for Movistar. The Spanish team had two riders abandon as crashes dominated the stage, as Rubén Plaza climbed off in the feedzone, while Francisco Pérez was the most serious casualty of the day.

Plaza came to the Eneco Tour having had just one day’s break after riding the week-long Tour of Poland. The 31-year-old from Alicante has only recently returned from a double lower leg fracture, sustained in a crash in the Vuelta a Murcia in March. A second stage race in such a short space of time proved to be too much and he climbed off in the feedzone after little more than 100km of the 192km stage.

Pérez though, fared far worse than his teammate, being forced to abandon after coming down in what was probably the biggest crash of the day. Along with riders like Johann Tschopp (BMC Racing) and Maxim Iglinskiy (Astana), the Murcian hit the tarmac with little more than 50km to go. While all of the other riders remounted and continued the stage though, Pérez stayed down.

The race doctor was with Pérez quickly, having to apply a bandage to a heavily bleeding headwound. This was enough to force his abandonment in itself but, to make things worse, having arrived at the Amphia Molengracht hospital in Breda, Netherlands to have the wound stitched, x-rays confirmed that he had also fractured his right collarbone.

Unfortunately Pérez was far from the only rider to sustain a fracture during the day’s stage. Arnaud Labbe (Cofidis) came down in the first serious incident of the day, fracturing his left elbow, and Sebastian Minard (AG2R La Mondiale) came down with 40km to go, breaking his right arm. Joost Posthuma (Leopard Trek) abandoned the race sick, despite having managed to finish twelfth on the previous day’s prologue.


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