Tour de France: GC contender Jurgen Van den Broeck out of race with injuries
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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tour de France: GC contender Jurgen Van den Broeck out of race with injuries

by VeloNation Press at 5:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Injury
Double top five finisher heading home, Maxime Bouet also forced to withdraw

Jurgen Van den BroeckAlthough his Lotto Belisol team expressed cautious optimism yesterday that he would be able to continue in the Tour de France after his fall on stage five, Jurgen Van den Broeck has been forced to withdraw from the race.

The Belgian general classification contender, who finished fourth overall in 2010 and again last year, received treatment yesterday and this morning, but cannot go any further. “The consequences of his crash in the final phase of yesterday's stage are so serious that continuing the Tour isn't an option,” said his team in a communication.

Team doctor Jan Mathieu explained both the situation and also the measures that were taken to try to rectify it. “Immediately after yesterday's stage we have covered the first aid; then it was already clear that there was a serious swelling and bruise, but we hoped he would be able to start. All night we have treated the knee with ice, painkilling and tried to mobilize the knee. In the night we gave him a compress.”

Despite that, he said that there was an abundance of liquid in the joint this morning. “We've drawn 85 cc fluid from his knee, which points out he has an interior injury,” he said. “Jurgen has tried to train on the rollers, but that didn't make a difference. Further tests in Belgium will have to give clarity about the seriousness of the situation.”

Given his two top five finishes in the race plus the abundance of climbing in this year’s Tour, Van den Broeck had hoped for another strong performance in the general classification. He had a lot of Belgian support, not least because he is the biggest GC contender from that country, but the fans will now have to turn their attention to other riders.

His team manager Marc Sergeant is understandably not happy with what has occurred, describing the injury and withdrawal as a drama for the team. “Jurgen works towards this main goal and for the second time in three years he has to abandon because of a crash. We often hear before the start if it is possible to come to the Tour with two leaders. Our goal to win stages with André Greipel remains of course intact. Apart from that, other guys will get the chance to show themselves.”

He said that deliberations about the racing programme of Van den Broeck would only be made after further tests and taking the severity of the problem into account.

Meanwhile the Ag2r La Mondiale team has also lost one of its main riders, with Maxime Bouet another faller on yesterday’s stage. He too cannot go any further, as his team explained.

“The X-ray examinations revealed an undisplaced articular fracture of the lower end of the left radius (forearm). This injury requires 45 days of immobilization to heal the fracture and unfortunately, Maxime has to leave the Tour de France,” stated Ag2r La Mondiale.

He was twentieth in last year’s Vuelta a España and won a stage plus took third overall in this year’s Giro del Trentino.


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