Paolo Bettini fractures a rib in Spain

QuickStep rider hoping to race soon

Italian rider Paolo Bettini fractured a rib when he fell in Thursday's fourth stage of the Tour of the Basque country, his QuickStep team said Saturday after he had hospital tests in Cecina, Italy.

"I have suffered a lot this past couple of days" Bettini said in a statement. "I hurt all over but today I am a little more optimistic. Last year I rode more than two weeks at the Giro with a cracked rib." The two-time world road champion promised to get back in the saddle as soon as possible.

© BikeRadar & AFP 2008

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