Crazy Catalunya weather takes big toll on pro peloton

Broken femur dashes Julian Dean's Olympic hopes, Jacob Fuglsang breaks wrist and Ivan Basso bashes knee in extreme weather in Spain.

The extreme weather at the Volta a Catalunya earlier this week is proving costly to the peloton.

Julian Dean (GreenEdge) broke his left femur in two places in Wednesday’s weather-shortened stage that cast doubts on his Olympic hopes while Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan) broke his wrist. Team officials said Fuglsang, who is expected to carry team colors in a bid for the podium at the Giro d’Italia in May, would be on the rollers this week. It’s not clear when he will return to racing.

Liquigas-Cannondale captain Ivan Basso underwent MRI scans Thursday on his right knee after he also crashed in Wednesday’s apocalyptic stage that saw race organizers whack 50km off the route due to snow, wind and extreme cold.

Last May, Basso crashed heavily on his face while on a training camp on Mount Etna that disrupted his preparation for the 2011 Tour de France.

Team doctor Roberto Corsetti said there was no major damage to the two-time Giro champion’s bone, tendons or ligaments and ordered Basso to take a few days’ rest ahead of a planned team training camp Monday.

“The scan detected a slight effusion that is linked to the contusion suffered during the fall. No damage was found to bone, tendons or ligaments,” Corsetti said on the team’s web site. “The situation will be monitored constantly over the next few days so any developments can be carefully assessed. Only at the last moment will we decide with the athlete and the team management about whether or not he will attend the training camp.”

Basso, Dean and Fuglsang were among nearly 40 riders who abandoned Wednesday’s stage. After some debate that exiting riders might be reinstated, the race jury finally ruled they would not be allowed to rejoin the weeklong World Tour race.

Race results >>