Tour de Wallonie

Barry breaks arm in Wallonie

Nizzolo takes over race lead

Last updated: 23rd July 2012

Michael Barry has broken his arm after being caught up in a crash in the sprint finish to stage three at the Tour de Wallonie.

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Despite not contesting the sprint the Canadian rider was unlucky to be caught up in a crash in the final metres of the stage having made his way into an elite group of around 30 riders.

Michel Kreder (Garmin-Sharp) was squeezed into the barriers in the kick for the line, setting off a multi-rider incident which took down the Canadian and a number of others.

“We can confirm that Michael has unfortunately broken the same arm in which he suffered a broken elbow in Qatar and is currently undergoing checks in Belgium before being flown back to the UK tonight for further tests,” said Team Sky Doctor Richard Freeman.

Salvatore Puccio was alongside his team-mate on the run-in and narrowly avoided the accident. After picking himself up Barry walked across the line in Beaufays before heading to the hospital where the break was confirmed.

Barry had made a strong return from a broken elbow sustained in February's Tour of Qatar and had used his strong climbing form to place himself at the sharp end of the day's stage. The whole team wishes Michael a speedy recovery.

Sprint finish

Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Nissan) took the win from the crash-marred sprint, the young Italian edging out Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha) and Gianni Meersman (Lotto-Belisol) at the finish.

A tough, undulating 185.9-kilometre route saw a reduced peloton contest the finish yet that did not stop an accident as the riders battled for position.

The toughest stage of the race produced some hard racing, with constant attacks over the final two climbs on the run for home.

For the third consecutive day the stage winner became the new race leader, Nizzolo moving to the head of affairs with two tests remaining.

Sports Director Steven de Jongh commented: "It's a real shame that we have lost Michael today. He and Puccio rode really well to make the front group in the peloton but Michael could not avoid the crash in front of him.

"He had been climbing really well and has been very unlucky this season. We wish him all the best with his recovery and we hope to have a better day tomorrow."

Queen stage

No less than nine categorised climbs meant there would be plenty of suffering in the peloton on a tough day in Belgium, the peloton negotiating some famous terrain featured in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege monument.

After the first intermediate sprint point of the day 15 riders went clear, the sizeable group holding an advantage around the three-minute mark with Team Sky among the squads helping to set the pace behind.

Following the first pass over the steep Cote de Wanne, Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Laurent Didier (RadioShack-Nissan) pushed onwards from their fellow escapees for a brief period.

Behind the peloton split in half on the undulating terrain under pressure from BMC Racing and Omega Pharma-Quickstep, the escapees eventually absorbed inside 40km to go.

With the stage win and the race lead up for grabs that was the cue for numerous counter-attacks to fire clear, yet none could make an advantage stick as a sprint decided the day.

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