PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : Lotto Belisol: Abandon Bart De Clercq in the Vuelta

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Lotto Belisol: Abandon Bart De Clercq in the Vuelta
lotto650big Bart De Clercq has quit the Vuelta after a crash in the neutral zone of the tenth stage. His right knee was too much injured to continue the race. At a first check-up in the hospital of Granada, where x-rays were taken, no fractures were found. Now De Clercq is returning to Belgium, where he’ll have further tests tomorrow with doctor Toon Claes in Herentals, after which the exact injury will get clear. After nine stages De Clercq stood 20th in GC at 2’33”.

Bart De Clercq: “This is very much bad luck. The official start wasn’t even given this afternoon, which makes it all the more painful. Nine times out of ten you only have some abrasions and there isn’t too much damage, but now my knee must have been hit by a handlebar or a pedal. I couldn’t fold my leg anymore. I saw my knee was swollen and that I had a bruise, but I didn’t want to give up immediately. Twice I tried to get on the bike again, but I wasn’t able to make rotations. There was no need to insist.”

“The crash happened on a descending part. Although we were only in the neutral zone the speed was around 50 or 60 kilometers an hour. I didn’t see what caused the crash (possibly traffic islands, LTB), but one moment riders were crashing in front of me. There was panic and everybody braked, but because of the speed it wasn’t possible to stand still. I tumbled over some riders and others bumped into me. I had hoped for a good GC and it was definitely possible to move up some places. It’s very tough that one moment has changed this. This is hard.”


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