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News for February 2, 2003

Riders licking their wounds after a crash-infested finale

By Anthony Tan in Kulim

Marinangeli (L) and Dionne out
Photo: © Yuzuru Sunada
Click for larger image

After a crash-infested finale in yesterday's stage of the Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi, three riders did not start today's third stage from Kulim to Ipoh due to serious injuries, while other riders - including the yellow jersey of Nathan O'Neill - were nursing war wounds at the start in Kulim this morning.

Canadian Charles Dionne (Saturn), Italian Sergio Marinangeli (Domina Vacanze-Elitron) and Japan's Koki Shimbo fared worst; Dionne suffering severe lacerations from his hip to his knee as well as a broken finger, Marinangeli diagnosed with a broken pelvis and Shimbo with injuries to his stomach. Dionne will return to his home in Canada tomorrow to recuperate from his injuries.

Dionne's teammate and current leader on the road, Queenslander Nathan O'Neill, also went down in the crash but was not seriously injured.

Gordon Fraser's road rash
Photo: © Mark Sharon
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"They're racing like it's the last day of the race," said a bamboozled O'Neill after the stage finish in Butterworth. "They're silly because they're risking their lives for 50th place and there's no need for it. I've stabbed myself with the chainring in my left calf but I'll be alright."

28 year old David McKenzie (Flanders-Iteamnova) also kissed the pavement, first thinking he had a clear shot at then line, but seconds later, found himself on the deck with his front forks snapped in half. McKenzie was carted off to the local hospital in Butterworth shortly following the finish of the second stage, requiring four stitches to his right knee.

The seemingly luckless Aussie, who only last year experienced a potentially career-ending crash by riding into a parked truck, sent his demons running by turning up to the race start in Kulim in a surprisingly jovial mood.

No more monkey business
Photo: © CN
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"Macca" told Cyclingnews this morning: "Ah, it's not so bad. It [my knee] swelled up a lot last night but it doesn't feel too bad this morning. I went for a light pedal with the boys and it feels OK - a little stiff, but I'll manage."

Asked whether he told his wife Susan Stewart, manager of the Flanders-Iteamnova cycling team, McKenzie said: "Actually she didn't know until I rang her, and she couldn't believe it's happened again at the almost the same time as last year!" said the upbeat Victorian with a wry smile.

The team at Cyclingnews wish all riders affected a safe and speedy recovery.

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