Eddie Dunbar has had a frustrating end to his first race of the season, withdrawing from the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana before the start of the second stage.
The Corkman crashed approximately halfway through Wednesday’s opening leg. He returned to the peloton and finished with the leading 62-man group at the finish, crossing the line in the same time as the winner Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty).
A team spokesman told The Irish Times on Wednesday that his left hand was a bit painful after the crash but that no bones were broken and that he would start Thursday’s second stage.
However, the team updated the situation on Thursday morning saying that he was leaving the Spanish event. “Unfortunately Eddie Dunbar will not take to the start line of today’s stage two in Valencia after suffering with some pain and stiffness in his hand, caused by his crash during yesterday’s stage one.
”Time to rest, recover and be 100 per cent for the next race.”
The withdrawal will be a frustration for Dunbar, who moved to the Jayco-AlUla team over the winter after four years with Team Sky/Ineos Grenadiers. He is a designated team leader for the first time and had worked hard over the winter. While his main goal is the Giro d’Italia in May, he wanted to show well in Spain and to test himself in the hilly stage race.
Thursday’s second stage would have been ideal for him. It includes one first category climb and four second category ascents, including the summit finish to Alto de Pinos.
He is next due to compete with the squad in the UAE Tour, starting on February 20th. It is not clear yet whether he requires further medical examination and if that race start could be under question.Dunbar was the only Irish competitor in the event, which runs until Sunday.