David De La Cruz did not start this morning, due to pain in his right collarbone, which was operated on in early August after a crash in the Tour de Pologne.
The Spanish rider from team Etixx - Quick-Step tried to ride out the pain in the first stages of the Vuelta but after consulting with the team's medical staff yesterday evening, they decided it would be better to abandon the Vuelta.
“I'm very sorry, " said De La Cruz. "I did everything possible to line up for the start of the Vuelta and from the bottom of my heart I hoped that things would get better throughout the duration of the race. Unfortunately, the pain increased day after day. In yesterday's stage I was really suffering a lot. Furthermore, the fact that I couldn't put pressure on my right shoulder caused a series of pains in my neck, hand and arm. Every bump in the road felt like getting stabbed with a knife. I couldn't go on any longer. Together with the team's medical staff we decided this was the best solution. I'm heartbroken. The Vuelta is my homeland race and it really meant a lot to me. The goal of riding in this race gave me the motivation to work hard after the operation. Now the goal is to recuperate as much as possible for the final races of the season. I wish the team the best of luck in La Vuelta. They are a great group and I am sure it will be a good Vuelta for all of them.”
“David surprised everybody with his rapid recovery and his commitment and the hard work he did so that he could be at La Vuelta," said Sports Director Rik Van Slycke. "David set a good example for the dedication and strength of will he demonstrated. Even these last days in the race he constantly stood out for the profound commitment he showed his team mates. Unfortunately, he was not in a condition to continue. We hope he gets better soon so he can be there for the end of season races."