Crash ruins Costa’s hopes in France
04 March 2013

Paris-Nice (st. 1)

Portuguese rider leaves 'Race to the Sun' with bruises and stitches, yet with no fractures in his left wrist while leading the Movistar Team on the second WorldTour event of the season. Rojas 7th at day's sprint

Things did not go well for Movistar Team on the first road stage of Paris-Nice, the WorldTour’s inaugural event on European turf. The telephone squad’s designated leader for the race, Rui Costa, was forced to abandon after a crash with just under 70km from the finish.

The Portuguese rider, who initially attempted to get back to the group with pain and bruises all over his body, was eventually moved to a medical center in Fontainebleau, where the medical checks ruled out any fractures in his left hand -a broken wrist was feared-, having received several stitches on the crash’s site. Costa was back in the hotel with his team-mates at around 6pm today and will return to Portugal in the next few hours. Also Imanol Erviti –with several bruises- crashed at the same incident, what had him dropped -along with Javi Moreno- to the second of three groups caused by crosswinds in the finale of the 195km stage from Saint-Germain-en-Laye to Némours. 

The stage win was claimed by French champion Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) as José Joaquín Rojas took the 7th spot. The overall classification, still led by Gaudin (EUC) as Herrada sits in 14th, doesn’t suffer any major changes and will probably stay the same after day two in France: another long day (201km) between Vimory and Cérilly with no categorized climbs.