Armstrong Out of Castilla y Leon

What a Monday: Lance Armstrong has crashed out of Spain’s 5-stage Castilla y Leon on the first day, after getting tangled up in the peloton with only 20km to go. Team doctors have confirmed that Armstrong has a broken right collarbone.

According to VeloNews, it went down like this:

The pack was roaring down a narrow farm road over rough surfaces. It appeared that riders clipped wheels, sending at least a dozen skittering to the ground. Armstrong was knocked off the road and was sitting on the ground, cradling his right arm, an indication that he injured his shoulder.

If you’re the type of person that loves to gawk at trainwrecks and car crashes, you can see helicopter video of the aftermath, courtesy of Spanish television:

Not to belabor the point, but it’s a sad development so early in the 2009 season — while the Castilla y Leon certainly isn’t a major race on the cycling calendar, it was a good opportunity for Lance to 1) get back into the feel of things on a pro-level, multi-stage race, which he hasn’t done since 2005’s Tour victory, and 2) to ride alongside Alberto Contador as teammates for the first time.

VeloNews notes that “riders with broken collarbones typically return to competition four to six weeks after the injury,” but that means Armstrong is going to miss some very valuable training time headed into May’s Giro — something that Lance has admitted will make riding in that that race “very complicated.” While I realize that the Tour is still four months away, in the cycling world that’s not very far at all, and it already puts Lance’s dream for number eight into question.

If you’re feeling a little down about the news, perhaps remembering one of Lance’s greatest performances (set to Fatboy Slim, no less) will perk you up. If James is reading this: Ullrich is still a bitch.

[Armstrong Crashes Out of Castilla y Leon – VeloNews]


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