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Rinaldo Nocentini, the Ag2r rider who spent eight days in the yellow jersey at the 2009 Tour de France, has fractured his leg in a crash at the Grand Prix Insubria in Italy on Saturday.
The 32-year-old Nocentini broke the tibia and fibula bones in his lower leg. Although not as serious as a fracture of the femur, Ag2r officials said it remains uncertain as to how long the Italian will be off the bike.
Nocentini was in fine form going into the 2010 season, winning the opening stage of the Tour du Haut Var last week. He was also considered to be a podium contender for Paris-Nice, which begins next week.
The Grand Prix Insubria was eventually won by Samuel Dumoulin of Cofidis.
1. Samuel Dumoulin (F), Cofidis, 181.5km in 4:20:24 (41.821kph)
2. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, same time
3. Nicolas Roche (Irl), Ag2r La Mondiale, s.t.