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Lance Armstrong Surgery Today, Still Plans on Giro

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lance armstrong broken collarbone in hospital waiting for surgery

Lance is having surgery today for his broken collarbone, suffered in a 10-rider pile up during the Vuelta a Castilla y León bicycle race this past weekend.  X-rays indicated the fracture was more serious than originally thought, so he’ll be getting a plate inserted to stabilize his mid-shaft clavicle fracture.  Armstrong indicated it was broken in more than one place.

Regarding the upcoming Giro d’Italia, which starts on May 9, Armstrong said:

“This is a very common cycling injury and you hear of guys able to race in two weeks and other guys that race two months later,” he said. “Four to six weeks seems long to me but again, time will tell. Obviously the Giro is on people’s minds and that’s about five weeks away. In my opinion I think the Giro is still very doable.

“Fortunately I’ve done a lot of off-season work that I think will help me through this,” he said. “I think my condition was really coming to a place where I was going to be able to ride at the front of the races and that’s good news and bad news — bad news that I wasn’t able to show it in the races, but the good news is that if you get injured with good form you can come back with decent form. You aren’t starting from rock bottom.”

The accident apparently shook him a little, he called it “the biggest setback I’ve had in my cycling career.”

“I knew it hurt like hell and whenever you have a big pain like that your mind tells you to feel it to make sure nothing is sticking out, but at the same time you’re a little scared to feel it,” he said. “So I took a quick brush with my hand over my collarbone and what I thought were cables from my radio in fact weren’t. So I realized then it was broken pretty good.

“Lying in the ditch in that situation, you’re asking yourself, what the hell am I doing here?” he said. “But I think that’s a normal reaction and I don’t feel that way today necessarily, although I’m feeling a lot of pain and ready to get this behind me. It was definitely a shock. I’ve raced bikes for a long, long time and never had anything like that. Quite honestly, it’s part of racing and to go as long as I’ve gone without having something happening like this is basically a miracle.”

Photo from Lance’s Twitter stream.

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