Tour de France: Gert Steegmans abandons with broken wrist
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Tour de France: Gert Steegmans abandons with broken wrist

by Ben Atkins at 7:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Tour de France, Injury
Quick Step rider’s broken wrist from stage five confirmed after x-rays in Pau

gert steegmansQuick Step’s Gert Steegmans has been forced to abandon the Tour de France, on the morning before the thirteenth stage, due to a broken scaphoid bone in his left wrist sustained on stage five. The Belgian rouleur/sprinter came down in the same crash that saw the eventual abandonment of team captain Tom Boonen; he injured his wrist, but it was not possible to see the extent of the injury at first.

"I'm really bummed," said Steegmans at Quick Step’s pre-race meeting this morning. "I tried to continue, hoping that things would get better with time, that it was just a little swollen.

“In the first few days following the fall the swelling was too intense and an x-ray wouldn't have picked up the fracture,” he explained. So I decided to continue, this race meant too much to me, I wanted to do well and my legs were great. I'm sorry I didn't get the chance to show it."

Steegmans will return home to Belgium today, then go to the Herentals Clinic for a check up tomorrow morning. There it will be decided whether or not he will need an operation, and how long he will need to take to recover.

"Now I have to concentrate on recuperating, to try to reduce the recuperation time to as little as possible before returning to competition," Steegmans concluded.

Steegmans retuned to the Quick Step team this year after two largely unsuccessful years away, at Katusha and RadioShack. He was back at the Tour this year after missing out in both those years. Both times he has ridden the race as a Quick Step rider in the past he has come home as a stage winner; in 2007 he won the second stage into Gent, Belgium, then in 2008 he took the prestigious final stage on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.


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