VALKENBURG, Netherlands (AFP) — Joaquim Rodriguez is in doubt for the rest of the Ardennes classics campaign after crashing out of the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday.
The 34-year-old Katusha rider could well miss Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne, a race he won in 2012, after complaining of dizziness.
“Purito definitely out. @PuritoRodriguez hit by other rider,” said his team’s press officer, Philippe Maertens, on Twitter.
“Too dizzy in head to continue. Too early to say something on coming races.”
Rodriguez himself tweeted later: “Thanks for the encouragement, here we are still in the hospital waiting for results. I hope it’s good news.” The team followed up with a note saying that X-rays found no fractures, though Rodriguez was bruised about the ribs.
Although the Amstel course isn’t the most ideal for Rodriguez’s explosive characteristics, he has had some of his best results in the three Ardennes classics.
He finished second at Amstel in 2011, and has had two runner-up finishes at Flèche Wallonne (2010 and 2011) and Liège-Bastogne-Liège (2009 and 2013).
The same crash, about 80km into the 251.8km race, took down Andy Schleck (Trek Factory Racing). He got back on his bike and rejoined the peloton, only to abandon with knee problems some 40km further down the road.
Schleck, who won Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2009 and was awarded the 2010 Tour de France victory after Alberto Contador was stripped of his win for doping, has not recovered his form since fracturing his pelvis in a crash at the 2012 Criterium du Dauphine.
His best result since then was 20th at last year’s Tour.
Also abandoning were Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp), winner of last year’s Liège, and Geraint Thomas (Sky), who tweeted wryly: “Someone decided he wanted a wee and just turned 90 degrees right, nowhere to go, apart from the deck.”