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Dauphiné Libéré
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59th Vuelta a España - GT

Spain, September 4-26, 2004

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Scott Sunderland
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Scott Sunderland's Vuelta Diary

Cyclingnews' longest contributing diarist Scott Sunderland is taking part in his fourth Vuelta a España in 2004 as part of the versatile Alessio-Bianchi team. Scott's role will be to help Pietro Caucchioli as well as having opportunities for stage wins. Once again, he'll be providing his highly experienced viewpoint on the Vuelta, its riders and anything else.

Index of 2004 updates

A pain in the gut

Stage 4 - September 7: Soria - Zaragoza, 167 km

Scott Sunderland
Photo ©: Lars Rønbøg

I'm afraid I haven't had time to write a long update today, as I spent most of the evening in hospital. I got some bad stitches in my gut in the finale of the stage and the team doc wanted to make sure everything was OK.

As I had written before, I haven't been feeling that well since I got here and doctor Besnatti told me I might have stressed the system a bit too much by pushing myself to stay in the race. In the last kilometres, it felt like someone was stabbing me in the guts with a knife; I had this really sharp pain. It was that bad I had to let go of the peloton and finished almost a minute behind Petacchi.

I was a tad worried there, and the doc thought it was better to get things checked thoroughly. Anyway, the scans of my liver, kidneys, pancreas, milt, etc. didn't reveal anything wrong and I was given the green light to start tomorrow. They took blood too and I'll get the results from that ASAP.

I don't know how I'll go tomorrow, but you can be sure I'm not going to give it away easily. When I got back to the hotel at 9pm, I even managed to eat some more than I could the previous days, so that's a good sign.

The legs felt heaps better today and I know I'm really getting into the race rhythm now, so if the aching stops I'll be right!

Till tomorrow

P.S. Even though I was already hurting pretty badly, I still managed to get a good laugh when Whitey managed to get 'side-tracked' today. Man it was a funny sight - we almost cacked ourselves laughing once he got back in the bunch!

Stage 4 results