Fractured skull for Sylvain Chavanel; out for eight weeks
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Monday, April 26, 2010

Fractured skull for Sylvain Chavanel; out for eight weeks

by Ben Atkins at 12:12 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Spring Classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège

sylvain chavanelSylvain Chavanel’s crash in the closing stages of yesterday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège was worse than first thought, with the Quick Step rider having sustained a fractured skull. The French rider, who has been regarded as his country's best hope for victory in races like La Doyenne for many years, crashed into the back of a another team’s car as he was trying to make contact with the group ahead of him.

He was initially diagnosed with facial injuries and a concussion, but further hospital tests have revealed the far more serious injuries. Despite not losing consciousness at the scene, Chavanel has a fracture to the base of his cranium, which thankfully has not affected his motor or sensory skills.

“I’d like to thank all the medical and paramedic staff that assisted me after the fall, and the people who are actually looking after me in Hospital,” said Chavanel, speaking from hospital in Montegnee, on the outskirts of Liège, Belgium. “This fall is the latest setback in what has been a period of bad luck for me.

“I’m frustrated but at the same time I feel like I’ve been lucky,” the Frenchman conceded. “The consequences of the fall could have been much worse. Now I just have to take it easy and concentrate on getting better, without rushing. Everyone knows my personality and the constructive way in which I confront challenges. A big thank you also goes out to all those who have been close to me in these hours, starting with my team and including all those who sent me even a simple message of support.”

Chavanel will be transferred to the hospital in Châtellerault, in the Poitou-Charentes region of central France, where he will be close to his home and family. Because of the nature of his injuries it is not expected that he will be able to resume training on the road for at least eight weeks, putting the Frenchman’s participation in July’s Tour de France in doubt.


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