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UPDATED: Tyler Farrar may continue in 2011 Vuelta a España despite stage-7 crash

2011 Vuelta a España, stage 7, Tyler Farrar
Tyler Farrar is helped to an ambulance after a high-speed crash in the finale to stage 7. Photo: Andrew Hood

TALAVERA DE LA REINA, Spain (VN) — Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo) will try to start Saturday’s eighth stage at the Vuelta a España despite suffering a high-speed crash at the end of Friday’s sprint stage.

Garmin team officials confirmed to VeloNews that Farrar did not break any bones during the fall after colliding with a rider about 125 meters to go as the peloton was winding up the sprint. Though badly banged up and bruised, Farrar will take stock in the morning before making a decision about continuing in the Vuelta.

“The good news is that nothing is broken. He’s badly banged up and bruised from the blow of the crash, but he has no broken bones,” Garmin-Cervélo sport director Bingen Fernández told VeloNews. “We just got him back from the hospital (at 10 p.m. Spanish time). Our doctors here will examine him more and then we’ll take a decision to see if he can continue in the race. Tomorrow is not an easy stage. We will see how he sleeps tonight and how he feels in the morning.”

Fernández said Farrar did not know what caused the crash and said he will try to review some race video this evening to take a second look at the full-sprint crash that took him down.

Farrar only shook his head as he gingerly stepped off the Garmin-Cervélo bus and did not speak as he was carried by two team soigneurs toward a team car. The pain was so intense that they called to a waiting ambulance.

Farrar was one of the favorites for Friday’s sprint finale, but appeared to be boxed in as the pack barreled toward the line at 65kph. Farrar moved to his right when he spotted a gap and collided with a rider who appeared to be Michel Golas (Vacansoleil).

Both went tumbling to the ground, with Farrar landing hard on his back and rolling over, only to have other riders collide into him from behind.

Other riders crashed in the wake of the crash, including GC favorites Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega Lotto-Pharma), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale). None of them seemed seriously injured.

The American sprinter was able to finish the stage, but could not turn his left leg in the pedals as he was escorted to the team bus 250 meters past the finish line.

Fernández said it’s too early to tell how much impact the crash will have on Farrar’s hopes for the world championships next month in Copenhagen.

“Right now the most important thing is health, and then we’ll worry about competition,” he said. “The good thing is that nothing is broken. We still don’t know how long it will take him to recover. We’ll know more in the coming days.”