Phinney talks about crash, injury and withdrawal from Eneco Tour
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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Phinney talks about crash, injury and withdrawal from Eneco Tour

by VeloNation Press at 4:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Eneco Tour, Injury
World champion Gilbert also out but no lasting damage expected for either rider

Taylor PhinneyAmerican talent Taylor Phinney has expressed relief not to be more badly hurt after being forced out of the Eneco Tour today due to a large crash which occurred approximately sixty kilometres from the finish at La Redoute.

“There was a crash which started on the right side of the road as we were heading into the town of Aywaille,” he explained after the stage. “The team were lined up on the right and we were trying to move up. The crash happened in front of all of us. It started with Petacchi and Gabriel Rasche, and then kind of sort of dominoed out into the middle and the left side of the road. We were trying to go around it but when it is happen in front of you and you are going 55 kilometres per hour, it is hard to miss bikes and people on the ground.”

Initially Phinney believed that he would be okay. “Daniel Oss and I were going left and I thought we were going to make it, but somebody came in and hit me from behind. I flipped over and just took all of the impact on my left knee.

“I felt it immediately – the first thing I felt when I hit the ground is that I had hit my knee really badly. I was in a bit in shock for a minute or two as it was very painful. Then I looked around and saw that half of the team were also on the ground. This was not very good for us.”

The other riders were able to remount, including world champion Philippe Gilbert. But it was unfortunately race over for Phinney.

“I had to be moved on to the left side of the road and then they tried to put a bandage on my knee, but I just couldn’t bend my leg. It was too painful.”

Phinney was sitting fourth overall, just eight seconds back heading into the stage. It was uncertain how his GC chances would fare on the tough routes today and tomorrow, but he was looking forward to testing himself out on those courses.

Instead, he’s heading home. Fortunately his fears of a bad injury were assuaged after a medical examination. “I’m doing alright now. I got an x-ray and there’s no fractures, so it is probably just a bit of a bone bruise on the patella and then some road rash,” he said. “But I’ve got probably three or four days that I’m meant to keep easy and be taking care of it, and then hopefully I will be good after that.

“I am happy to come away with nothing too serious, although I’m not happy with having to leave the race. But these things happen.”

Also out of the race is team-mate Philippe Gilbert. He reached the finish with a very bloodied knee, but his hopes of riding well on home soil evaporated the moment he hit the deck. Instead, he was in survival mode, and trailed in 22nd, one minute 37 seconds behind the stage winner David Lopez of Sky.

“After the crash you know it is not easy with Tyler out.,” said assistant director Yvon Ledanois. “The team did a lot of important work for Philippe after the crash. They did a very good job. But you know the race after was totally different for us. It is difficult with one big crash.

“There is one big time trial, one TT for the guys for 80 k after the crash. Full gas for the full group. A lot of work, a lot of work. It was very difficult today.”

According to team doctor Giovanni Ruffini, neither rider should have long term repercussions as a result of their falls. “Taylor is not a big problem. It is only a problem of skin, there is nothing broken,” he said. “Philippe has no problems with tendon or muscle, it is a problem of skin.

“But he needs some sutures and he has probably to stay quiet for four days.”

As a result he will not take the start of tomorrow’s final stage. He had dropped from sixth to twelfth overall after today’s stage; his priority now is to return as soon as possible and to continue trying to clock up what would be his first victory in the rainbow jersey.

He is running out of time to do that before this year’s road race on September 29th.

Danilo Wyss is now the best-placed BMC Racing Team rider, back in 35th place. The crash destroyed the team’s chances of a high overall placing but, with both riders fortunate enough to escape fractures, it could have been much worse.


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