THE two Tasmanian cyclists that started the Vuelta a Espana are both continuing recoveries from broken bones.
Cameron Wurf and Wes Sulzberger were injured in separate falls in the early stages of the three-week grand tour.
Wurf was able to take full advantage of a timely rest day and resumed racing in Tarazona yesterday while still nursing a broken rib.
``I need to take every opportunity possible to limit the stress on my body so as I can handle racing with a broken bone for the next 10 days,'' Hobart's 30-year-old said.
``The time trial offered the chance to ride a nice steady tempo and have another quiet day.
``Also it's important for me to understand what agitates the rib while on the bike to be able to manage as best as possible the situation for the remainder of the Vuelta.''
With the race about to head into the Pyrenees, Wurf knows he will be expected to be back at full capacity to support his seventh-placed team leader Ivan Basso's general classification hopes.
``We don't have any space for passengers in Cannondale pro cycling team. Injured or not, if you pin the number on you make a commitment to do all you can to contribute to the success of the team.
``There are no easy passes handed out for sympathy in cycling, that's for certain.''
With his sole objective for the day to finish inside the time limit, Wurf completed the 38.8 kilometre hilly time trial in 6:43 and was delighted to remain one place ahead of stage winner Fabian Cancellara in 76th on GC.
Meanwhile, as Flowery Gully's Sulzberger continues to recover from a broken collarbone, his ORICA-GreenEDGE teammate Zak Dempster revealed the effort it took to complete the 186km fourth stage.
The 26-year-old also fractured an elbow but managed to complete a climb of up to 30 per cent and make it to the end of the finish before being forced to pull out.
``Not much has been said about Wes Sulzberger's crash and how incredibly tough it was for him to get up that climb with a broken collarbone,'' Dempster told cyclingnews.
``I'm still in disbelief of how much that must've hurt to reach the top.
``I trained with Wes whilst I was in Andorra most days and it's bloody hard to see something like that happen when you understand all the suffering that goes into preparing for something like this.
``But I know he's probably on the ergo as we speak, with the same determination that got him up that climb, getting ready for his next race.''