Shorts: Injury update, Urweider positive

A crash early on stage three of the Tour of the Basque Country leaves four riders on the sidelines,

A crash early on stage three of the Tour of the Basque Country leaves four riders on the sidelines,

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

A crash on the descent from the first climb in Wednesday's third stage of the Tour of the Basque Country led to four riders being taken to hospital, including two of the contenders for the overall title. Aitor Osa, Frank Schleck, Maxime Monfort and Thomas Ziegler are all likely to be out of racing for some time.

Liberty Seguros' Osa fractured his right wrist and will spend the next two weeks recovering at home. Cofidis's Monfort fractured his left collar-bone and will miss his objectives in the Ardennes Classics after flying home to Lige today for an operation. Initial reports on T-Mobile's Ziegler suggested that the 25-year-old German had broken his arm.

Schleck was also taken to hospital after cracking his head. Severe concussion was diagnosed. "Frank crashed on the descent from the first climb when another rider swayed towards him. He smashed his helmet, but seemed OK at first. He got back on his bike but was completely dizzy, so we chose to take him out of the race and straight to the hospital," said CSC sports director Kim Andersen.

"It's such bad luck for Frank to crash at a time when he could have had a top result. He was flying on the climbs and I think he could've done really well. But at least we should be pleased that the helmet saved him from a very serious accident," added Andersen.

T-Mobile's women's team have also lost a rider with a broken bone, in their case American Kimberly Anderson, who had surgery on Tuesday after breaking a collar-bone at Sunday's Tour of Flanders. The 38-year-old Texan hopes to return to light training in the next couple of days.

- Phonak's Sascha Urweider, who was suspended by the Swiss team last month after testing positive for testosterone in a random dope control undertaken in February, has had the positive result confirmed in the counter-analysis.

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