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Steff Cras spent all season preparing for the Vuelta a España, but didn’t even see Spain.
Lotto-Soudal all-rounder Cras was casualty of a high-speed crash late in the race’s second Dutch stage Saturday and became the first DNF of the race.
“Sad to leave the Vuelta so early. Tough some circumstances out of my control I went down, with hard result. Broken elbow, scaphoid and finger,” Cras wrote Saturday.
Cras, 26, crashed hard along with teammate Kamil Malecki and Bahrain Victorious climber Wout Poels inside the final 20km of Saturday’s sprint stage into Utrecht.
Cras was pictured bloodied up and writhing with pain. While Malecki and Poels pedaled onward, he could not.
He was taken to hospital to be delivered the dire diagnosis.
“It was my biggest goal of this season. I need some time to heal physically and mentally but I wish all the best to my Lotto Soudal mates,” he wrote.
Cras centered his season around the Vuelta. The Belgian skipped the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France as he set his scopes on a career-best finish in Madrid.
“Steff Cras was 20th in last year’s GC,” Lotto Soudal director Van de Wouwer said ahead of the race. “He will target the GC also this year and will fight for a good spot the entire Vuelta.”
Lotto Soudal will roll out one rider short for stage 3 on Sunday.
Sad to leave the @lavuelta so early. Trough some circumstances out of my control I went down, with hard result. Broken elbow,scafoid & finger. It was my biggest goal of this season.I need some time to heal fiscally and mentally but I wish all the best to my @Lotto_Soudal mates🙏
— steff cras (@SteffCras) August 21, 2022