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A strong contusion at the left femoral biceps suffered in a crash in yesterday's Amstel Gold Race makes Spaniard uncertain for the defence of his first big classics win

Photo: Sirotti

AMSTEL GOLD RACE

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GIAMPAOLO CARUSO

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JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ OLIVER

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15.04.2013 @ 10:20 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) was involved in a crash with 45km remaining of yesterday's Amstel Gold Race. Unable to finish the race, the Spaniard may now also have to forfeit his participation in the Fleche Wallonne and the Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

 

Having taken 2nd behind Philippe Gilbert in the 2011 edition of the race, Joaquin Rodriguez was one of the pre-race favourites in yesterday's race. However, he was taken out of contention as he was involved in a crash with 45km remaining.

 

With obvious pain in his thigh, he got back on his bike but he was unable to continue the race and had to abandon moments later. Afterwards, he brought to a hospital in order to determine the extent of his injuries.

 

A scan showed a strong contusion at the left femoral biceps, and the team's doctors will now determine whether he will be able to participate in the remaining Ardennes classics. The team is expected to give further information on Monday or Tuesday.

 

The injury is a huge blow to the Spaniard who is the major favourite to defend his title in the Fleche Wallonne. The steep finish on the Mur de Huy is tailor-made for his characteristics and he is usually almost unbeatable in such finishes.

 

Furthermore, he may have to skip his main objective this spring, the Liege-Bastogne-Liege. A victory in the most prestigious of the Ardennes classics is still missing on the Spaniard's palmares and he had hoped that 2013 would be the year in which he would tick off that box.

 

In the absence of Rodriguez, the team - which was probably the strongest of the race on paper - had a disappointing performance with an 11th place for a very offensive Giampaolo Caruso being the best result while Alexandr Kolobnev and Daniel Moreno both finished in the second big group.

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