Niki Terpstra to miss Ronde van Vlaanderen after breaking collarbone in De Panne crash
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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Niki Terpstra to miss Ronde van Vlaanderen after breaking collarbone in De Panne crash

by Ben Atkins at 2:42 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders, Injury
 
Dutch champion to be replaced by Guillaume Van Keirsbulck

niki terpstraNiki Terpstra (Quick Step) is out of this Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen after breaking his collarbone in today’s Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijede time trial. The Dutch road champion was hit by an unexpected crosswind in the closing kilometres of the race and lost control of his bike; he abandoned the stage and left the race with his left arm in a sling.

He was taken straight to the hospital in nearby Veurne where the fracture was diagnosed.

"I'm really disappointed for me and the team,” said Terpstra. The time trial was basically over. I was riding along the final stretch, in a residential area no less, when an unexpected gust of wind blew me to the ground. I couldn't react, everything happened in a fraction of a second.

“Words cannot express my disappointment,” he added. “There's nothing left for me to do but wish the best of luck to all the guys who'll be riding in the Ronde on Sunday."

Terpstra is in his first year with Quick Step, having spent four years with German team Milram; while his personal results have not been spectacular, is aggressive racing style, alongside teammate Sylvain Chavanel has laid the foundation to many of the team’s best results.

He would have been a key teammate to Tom Boonen in Sunday’s race, where the former Belgian and World champion hopes to re-impose himself on the race that he has won twice before. Terpstra’s place will be taken in the Quick Step team by promising 20-year-old Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, who rides his first ever Ronde.

Terpstra has been been transferred to the Herentals clinic, where he will be operated on by Doctor Claes’ medical team tomorrow morning.

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