Vuelta setback for Beltran
After crashing out of the Tour de France last month, Discovery’s Manuel Beltran suffers more bad luc
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Discovery Channel climber Manuel Beltran suffered a significant setback in his preparation for the Vuelta a Espa¤a when he was in collision with a motorbike on Sunday. Beltran was training with a group of nine other riders near his home town of Jaen in southern Spain when the incident took place.
According to a report in this morning’s AS, the group of cyclists had just been overtaken on a bend by five motorcyclists when a sixth motorcyclist came by and apparently lost control of his machine. Beltran was hit by both driver and motorbike, sustaining a number of cuts and bruises, but no broken bones.
“I felt the bike get caught up with the motorbike and couldn’t get my foot out of the pedal,” Beltran told AS. “The exhaust pipe was on my leg and was burning me. I saw my companions tossed into the air as if they were skittles. Eventually, after sliding across the road, the bike, motorbike and me ended up on the roadside apron.”
Five of the cyclists were not involved in the incident, and one of them grabbed the motorcyclist by the collar to remonstrate with him. Meanwhile, an ambulance was called to take Beltran, the worst affected of the cyclists, to hospital, although he was later released after his wounds had been treated.
Beltran has only just returned to training after crashing heavily in the Alps during the Tour de France and being forced to abandon the race with concussion. “I usually train without a helmet, but since the fall at the Tour I have started using one. Now I am never going to be without one,” said Beltran, whose helmet was severely damaged in the incident.
The 34-year-old Spaniard is not sure whether he will now be ready for the Vuelta, which starts in Granada on August 27. “It’s all part and parcel of the job, but it is logical to assume that the incident has put back my preparation,” said Beltran.