American Tyler Farrar started Stage 7 of the Vuelta a Espana on Saturday, in spite of a falling in a serious crash within sight of Friday's finish line.
The Wenatchee, Washington, native only lasted a few miles, however, before abandoning the race.
Farrar, 27, crashed on Friday when he collided with another cyclist sprinting for the finish line Talavera de la Reina. After picking himself off the pavement and crossing the finish line, members of the Garmin-Cervelo staff helped him to a waiting ambulance that took him to the hospital.
Farrar suffered cuts and bruises, but no broken bones. He intended to start the race, but returned to the hospital Saturday morning after coughing up some blood, according to VeloNews.
When doctors couldn't find anything wrong, he returned to the start line 10 minutes before the race and left with the pelton. A few miles down the road, Farrar noticed more blood when he coughed and everyone decided it was a good idea for him to abandon the race.
Farrar's dramatic return to the race this morning made him the “hero of the start line,” according to the CyclingNews live feed.
Stage 8 lead change
Meanwhile, the overall race lead changed at the Vuelta as Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) once again used an incredibly steep (up to 28%) grade at the finish to propel himself into first overall.
Former red jersey leader Sylvain Chavanel (Quickstep) dropped to 8th place overall. Defending champ Vincenzo Nibali cut his losses and ended up in 4th place overall, 45 seconds behind the leader.
Stage 8 covered 113 miles across one Category 1 and two Category 2 climbs, before hitting a series of climbs and the short but steep finish in San Lorenzo de El.
Sunday's terrain is rolling until the “beyond category” finishing climb to Alto de Covatilla.
Top 10 overall
1 Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
2 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team — :32 behind
3 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek — :34
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale — :45
5 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre – ISD — :51
6 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Pro Team Astana — :54
7 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto — :56
8 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team — 1:00
9 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team — 1:00
10 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek — 1:01
Full race report and results at CyclingNews.com.