Gianni Meersman abandons the Giro d’Italia with the aftereffects of stage two crash
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Gianni Meersman abandons the Giro d’Italia with the aftereffects of stage two crash

by Ben Atkins at 9:32 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Injury
 
Back problems force Belgian climber out as the mountains begin

gianni meersmanJust 70km into the seventh stage of the Giro d’Italia, between Recanati and Rocca di Cambio, Lotto-Belisol’s Gianni Meersman became the fifth rider to abandon the race. The Belgian had been one of the first fallers of the race, having come down during stage two in Herning, Denmark; he had struggled through the flat stages, but found himself in trouble as the climbing began.

“Back and knee pain have caused me to abandon,” said the 26-year-old after climbing off his bike. “It goes without saying that this is a very big disappointment.

“Immediately after the crash, I didn’t think the damage was too bad and I could still ride during the flat stages,” he explained. “But when it went uphill for the first time yesterday, I was pulling and dragging to keep up. I have persevered and the osteopath did everything he could to take away the pain yesterday evening, but unfortunately 12 hours recovery were not enough.”

Struggling through yet another stage might have been possible for the climber, who had been targeting stages such as the uphill finish to Rocca di Cambio, which was similar in characteristics to the Rodez stage that he won in Paris-Nice. This could merely have compounded the problem however, making the injury worse, and so the sensible thing was for him to give up.

“The problem with my pelvis means that I sit crooked on my bike, and I re-injured my knee,” he said. “Furthermore, to continue riding was pointless, the injuries could just be made worse, resulting in a longer layoff. Now I hope that it may be limited to a few days, time that unfortunately don’t get in a Grand Tour; certainly not in the mountains.

“I wish it was otherwise, because giving up is the last thing you want to do as a rider, but now we need first to get over the disappointment and then to set new objectives.”

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