By Andrew Hood
Team CSC’s Tyler Hamilton received 15 stitches in his left hand after crashing hard in Wednesday’s second stage of the Tour of Holland, but didn’t seriously injure his hip as initially feared.
“No broken bones but the cut was bad enough to receive 15 stitches, so it was pretty bad,” said Team CSC’s sport director Sean Yates. “He didn’t break his hip, but it’s very sore and he can hardly walk.”
Hamilton went down less than 10km to go and crossed the finish line in a gruesome image with blood splattered on his bicycle and team jersey. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment and won’t be starting Thursday’s split stage.
Yates said Hamilton – still recovering from his spill in the Tour de France when he fractured his right collarbone — will fly to Copenhagen early Thursday morning to be treated by the team’s chiropractor.
“It’s too early to say when he will be able to race again. It’s obviously close to the end of the season for Tyler,” Yates said. “He was undecided about going to the worlds. Now it will be whether he can recuperate in time or just hang it up for this season.”
Hamilton made headlines around the world last month with his gritty determination to keep racing the Tour despite fracturing his clavicle in the first stage. Hamilton went on to win a stage and finish fourth overall.
The New Englander returned to racing in Sunday’s Championship of Zurich race and had high hopes for the Tour of Holland, Yates said.
“It’s too bad, because today’s stage came down to a sprint finish just like we wanted. Tyler has really good form and wanted to take advantage of it,” Yates said.
Team CSC’s Geert Van Bondt also crashed, breaking his collarbone and fracturing his shoulder. He’s currently traveling back to his home in Belgium.
Pettachi wins again at Holland
Fassa Bortolo’s Alessandro Petacchi powered to victory in Wednesday’s 190km second stage of the Tour of Holand in yet another reminder that it’s him – not compatriot Mario Cipollini – who’s without a doubt the season’s top sprinter.
In a race marred by crashes that sent CSC’s Tyler Hamilton and Geert Van Bondt (see related story) to the hospital, Petacchi won his second stage in a row and continued to hold the leader’s jersey.
Several riders tried to escape the clutches of the peloton, but the group wouldn’t let anyone away going into Thursday’s decisive split stage that features an afternoon individual time trial.
Petacchi surged ahead of rivals Erik Zabel (Telekom) and Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Domo) to score his 19th win of the season. After six victories at the Giro d’Italia and four at the Tour de France, Petacchi is the man with the sprint legs this year.
r of Holland, Stage 2, Apeldoorn to Nijkerk, 190 kilometers
1. Alessandro Petacchi, Fassa Bortolo 4 hours, 20 minutes, 1 second (44.46kph)
2. Erik Zabel, Telekom
3. Marco Zanotti, Fassa Bortolo
4. Robbie McEwen, Lotto-Domo
5. Andrej Hauptmann, Caldirola — all same timeOverall standings after two stages
1. Petacchi 8 hours, 29 minutes, 22 seconds
2. Zabel +0:08
3. Bert Hiemstra, BankGiroLoterin +0:15
4. Robbie McEwen, Lotto Domo +0:16
5. Ludo Dierckxsens +0:17
Casagrande wins at Coppa Agostoni
Lampre’s Francesco Casagrande scored an important victory in the 57th Coppa Agostoni in Italy on Wednesday.
Casagrande, a winner there in 2001, has had a disappointing season and promised victory in the 198km race in Lissone, Italy. Casagrande attacked hard on the climb coming through Lissolo, a short 2.5km climb with ramps as steep as 18 percent, to mark his differences.
Casagrande is coming into form with a strong performance at the Championship of Zurich on Sunday. Casagrande hammered up the Lissolo climb in each of the five passages to pull away from Cristian Moreni (Alessio), who came through second at 1:27 back.
The three-day “Trittico Lombardo” concludes with Thursday’s Coppa Bernocchi.
57th Coppa Agostoni, Lissone-Lissone, 199.5km><>
1. Francesco Casagrande (I), Lampre 4 hours, 56 minutes, 22 seconds (40.389 kph)
2. Cristian Moreni (I), Alessio +1:27
3. Oscar Mason (I), Caldirola
4. Massimo Giunti (I), Domina Vacanze
5. Marcel Strauss (Swi), Gerolsteriner – all same time
Vasseur wins, Rous retains lead at Limousin
French riders remained in control of the second stage of the Tour of Limousin, with Cédric Vasseur (Cofidis) winning the stage and Didier Rous (Boulangere) retaining the overall lead.
Vasseur was part of a 10-man breakaway that also included Stuart O’Grady (Credit Agricole) and Christophe Mengin (Fdjeux.com) among them. Vasseur attacked coming up the Category 1 Col du Maupuy and came in for the victory after holding off a 174km in escape. O’Grady chased but could only score second for his efforts at 49 seconds in arrears.
Rous, winner of Tuesday’s first stage, finished safely with the main bunch to keep the lead ahead of Cofidis’ Massimiliano Lelli and Laurent Lefevre (Jean Delatour).The race continues Thursday with the 171.9km third stage that finishes on a circuit at Lac de Vassivière.Tour of Limousin (UCI 2.3), Stage 2, 189km
1. Cédric Vasseur (F), Cofidis 4 hours, 47 minutes, 56 seconds
2. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), Credit Agricole +0:49
3. Christophe Mengin (F), Fdjeux.com
4. Mikel Artetxe (Sp), Euskaltel
5. Samuel Poulhinec (F) – all same timeOverall standings after two stages
1. Didier Rous (F), Boulangere 8 hours, 38 minutes, 59 seconds
2. Massimiliano Lelli (I), Cofidis +0:43
3. Laurent Lefevre (F), Jean Delatour +0:45
4. Thor Hushovd (Nor), Credit Agricole +1:30
5. Dimitry Fofonov (Kaz), Cofidis – same time