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Simon Gerrans quits Vuelta as hip fracture found

Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) did not start Saturday’s 14th stage at the Vuelta a España after MRI scans confirmed the Aussie star suffered a hip fracture in a crash in stage 3.

Racing with pain over the past week, Gerrans went to a local hospital at the conclusion of Friday’s stage. Doctors confirmed a minor hip fracture, and his 2013 season is over.

“I’ve been in a quite a bit of pain since my crash on stage three but was hoping it wasn’t too serious so that I could stay in the Vuelta and prepare for the world championships,” Gerrans said in a team release. “The pain just got worse and worse, and today we decided to have it scanned. That’s when we learned about the fracture.”

Gerrans said he needs to “pack it in” for 2013 in order to prepare for the coming year. That means his bid for the world championships is also over.

The veteran Aussie enjoyed a stellar season, including a stage victory and the yellow jersey at this year’s Tour de France. Other notable results include stage victories at the Tour Down Under, Volta a Catalunya, Vuelta al Pais Vasco and a podium at Amstel Gold Race.

“Simon has had an incredible year, and we are extremely thankful for what he has done for the team — both on and off the bike,” team manager Shayne Bannan said.

“He’s been a real role model and one of our most successful riders throughout this season. It’s too bad we won’t see him race the worlds in Florence because the course would have suited him, but knowing Simon, I’m sure he’ll be back strong next year to continue his great career at the highest level.”

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