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Joseba Beloki: Latest news
By Podofdonny
Date: 7/15/2003
Joseba Beloki: Latest news

Joseba Beloki has been transported from Marseilles to Spain and will undergo surgery Wednesday morning at the well-known private Basque clinic USP Clínica La Esperanza. In stage 9 Monday, Beloki broke his right leg near the hip and also sustained hand and elbow fractures; the elbow fracture will require a further operation. Dr. Mikel Pradera, head of trauma surgery and orthopedics at La Esperanza, will perform the surgery and expects to give a press conference tomorrow in the early afternoon.

Azevedo attending to Beloki

Jäksche remained with Beloki

The general manager of ONCE-Eroski, Pablo Antón, said today that the ONCE team remaining at the Tour must recover and change its attitude now that its leader is gone. Antón accompanied Beloki back to Spain today.

“In the Tour, the team has to recover, to get out of its head that gregario mentality that everybody could see the other day, sticking together, and some even sacrificing their options,” Antón said, clearly referring to the admirable performance of Jörg Jäksche and José Azevedo, who couldn't recoup timewise after stopping when they came upon Beloki and remained with him.

“Starting now, the riders should try to continue completing their job, although it is difficult, because many things enter the game, such as the teams classification."

In any event, I would be happy if a Spanish team wins, whichever that is. In the same way I would like the Tour won by a Spanish rider. We will see what the circumstances bring; I believe it is a very good group,” Anton said, speaking of Spanish cyclists in general.

Ode To a Fallen Beloki
By Dario P. Vasquez

We saw what he’d planned,
Climbing the great Alpe,
He’d weakened Lance Armstrong,
Nearly taken his scalp.

This was a new Beloki, a new Tour
No more wheel-sucking anymore,
But as he hit the bitumen,
Any hopes just tore…

He put out his arm,
And shattered his wrist,
The asphalt he kissed.
All opportunities missed.

First on the scene was Manolo Saiz,
As the whole world heard his painful cries,
Nobody had planned his heart wrenching demise,
An underground low after dizzying highs.

He’d come on a bicycle,
Dutiful and strong.
He left in an ambulance,
Everything wrong.

As Joseba Beloki Dorronoso departed the Tour,
In an Ocana-like state,
I hope we’ll see more,
In 2004 (it will be great!)

All images courtesy of ONCE-Eroski.

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