Steegmans hospitalised after crash
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Friday, February 19, 2010

Steegmans hospitalised after crash

by Conal Andrews at 8:09 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Volta ao Algarve

Team RadioShack sprinter Gert Steegmans has been taken to hospital for evaluation following a crash on today’s third stage of the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal.

The Belgian rider hit a parked car inside the first 20 kilometres of the stage and fell, hitting his head on the ground. Reports suggested that his helmet may have come off with the impact.

He was taken to hospital by ambulance where his condition will be monitored.

Team directeur sportif Jose Azevedo suggested that things were not too serious, however. “A few riders fell. We were concerned because his helmet came off but the team doctor of the race said that he’s fine,” he told the Portuguese website the Record. “It was only a scare.”

Steegmans, a triple stage winner in the Volta ao Algarve, moved to the team following a disrupted season with the Katusha squad in 2009.

He and the team fell out over its demands that riders promise to pay five times their annual salary in the event of a positive test; others on the team also protested, but were able to come to an agreement.

Steegmans was however sidelined and only did some criterium racing over the summer. His move to RadioShack gives him the chance to get back on track and, while the team has said that it is not going to build a sprint train around him, the 29 year old will hope to make the Tour squad and add to his previous tally of two stage wins there.

While with the Quick Step team, he was victorious in Gent in 2007 and triumphed on the Champs Elysées one year later. He is one of the fastest riders in cycling when on form, but wants to expand his repertoire and also become a Classics contender.


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