Cycling: Mugging leaves O'Grady with fractured skull

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STUART O'GRADY, whose skull was fractured in a mugging in the south of France almost a week ago, has been ordered not to race again this season.

The Credit Agricole rider, who was attacked outside a Toulouse restaurant, has returned to his French home from hospital. Doctors told the Australian rider to rest after discovering traces of blood on his brain.

O'Grady's father said in Sydney yesterday that his son, who wore the yellow jersey for three days during the 1998 Tour de France, had withdrawn from next month's World Championships. He said: "He's got two fractures of the skull and now knows why it's been so sore."

O'Grady, his Australian team-mate Henk Vogels and the British rider David Millar, who was slightly injured, were attacked at the weekend while with their partners. The muggers reportedly tried to steal O'Grady's gold chain. His girlfriend, Jamie Gray, was also hit.

Germany's Jan Ullrich, the 1997 Tour de France winner, sprinted to victory in the Tour of Spain's 160km fifth stage between Bejar and Ciudad Rodrigo.

The Deutsche Telekom rider, who has hardly raced all season due to injury, recorded an unofficial time of 3hr 52min 56sec, just beating the 1998 Tour of Spain winner, Abraham Olano, in the same time. Olano took the race leader's golden jersey from the German, Marcel Wust.