Tour de France crash puts Olympic road race champion Sanchez out of London 2012

Monday, 23 July 2012
By Mike Rowbottom at the Main Press Centre on the Olympic Park in London

Spanish cyclist_Samuel_SanchezJuly 23 - Samuel Sanchez, the 2008 Olympic road race champion, will be unable to defend his title in London because of injury, it has been confirmed by the Spanish cycling federation.

Sanchez crashed out of the Tour de France in stage eight, breaking a finger in his right hand and causing deep bruising to his shoulder and upper back.

He had hoped to recover to defend his Olympic title on Saturday (July 28), but realised during training rides this week that he was uncomfortable on the bike.

"Even though physically he felt good, he continued to suffer from pain, in both his hand and shoulder," Spanish national cycling manager Jose Luis De Santos told the federation's website.

"Concerning his hand, he had a lot of problems holding onto the handlebars as well as changing gears.

"That would have made it too dangerous in race conditions.

"For that [reason], we decided he would not go to London."

Sanchez is the second member of the five-man Spanish road cycling team to forfeit London 2012 due to injury.

Spanish cyclist_Oscar_FreireOscar Freire in action during the Tour de France Prologue at Parc d'Avroy, Belgium

Three-time world champion Oscar Freire crashed out of stage six at the 2012 Tour de France, breaking a rib and puncturing a lung.

The three other members of Spain's Olympic squad have also been involved in crashes during July's Tour de France.

Luis Leon Sanchez and Alejandro Valverde both overcame injuries from heavy crashes to win stages in the tour, while Jose Joaquin Rojas broke his collar bone in stage three.

Rojas, however, is still expected to get one of Spain's five starting positions.

Fran Ventoso has replaced Freire and De Santos said Jonathan Castroviejo is likely to replace Sanchez.

Contact the writer of this story at mike.rowbottom@insidethegames.biz
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