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“Chris was also pretty banged up but showed real courage to finish the race and we’ll assess his injuries overnight. He hasn’t needed to go to hospital and right now as things stand, we’re still expecting him to line...

Photo: Sirotti










22.04.2015 @ 18:35 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Sergio Henao battled to seventh place at Fleche Wallonne after a day of high-profile crashes in Belgium.


Henao did well to work his way into contention as the race reached a gripping conclusion on the Mur de Huy, and shadowed Katusha duo Joaquim Rodriguez and Dani Moreno as the action kicked off on the iconic ascent.


Despite his best efforts however, Henao was unable to pass the Spaniards on the twisting drag to the finish, and crossed the line four seconds behind the triumphant Alejandro Valverde.


Valverde (Movistar) had led a group of 39 riders up the final climb of the day, and when he let rip with 150 metres to go, he quickly distanced his rivals before wrapping up his second successive triumph ahead of Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx – Quick-Step) and Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge).


Nicolas Roche was the next Team Sky rider home in 27th position, and Chris Froome managed to finish the race despite being involved in a bad crash in the last 12km.


Froome suffered cuts and bruises in the last of several tumbles which punctuated the race, with Wout Poels and Lars Petter Nordhaug also among a lengthy accident list that included 2011 winner Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) and Cannondale-Garmin leader Dan Martin.  




After the race, Sports Director Gabriel Rasch was pleased with the way his riders had acquitted themselves on a tough day, and was able to update on their condition following the succession of falls.


He told “Sergio had a good race and did what he could. The rest of the team sacrificed themselves for him and all deserve praise for their efforts. We’d liked to have had more numbers there for him at the end, but that was taken out of our hands by all the crashes.


“Our doctor examined the injured riders immediately after the stage, and while he’s confident Lars Petter doesn’t have any broken bones, he’s sent Wout to hospital for X-Rays as a precaution because he hurt his shoulder pretty badly after landing in a ditch.


“Chris was also pretty banged up but showed real courage to finish the race and we’ll assess his injuries overnight. He hasn’t needed to go to hospital and right now as things stand, we’re still expecting him to line up at the Tour de Romandie next Tuesday.


“He, Sergio and [Sports Director] Nicolas Portal are scheduled to do a recon of the cobbled sections on the Tour de France tomorrow, while the rest of us will take a look at the Liege-Bastogne-Liege course.”



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