Jens Voigt’s birthday race derailed by broken finger
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Monday, September 12, 2011

Jens Voigt’s birthday race derailed by broken finger

by VeloNation Press at 6:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Britain
 
German rider has multiple breaks in his forefinger; operation needed

Jens VoigtHad his fans written the script for this year’s Tour of Britain, Jens Voigt would have ridden a typically aggressive race, would have been close to the yellow jersey heading into Saturday’s penultimate stage and would then have taken over at the top after a long, long, victorious breakaway on his 40th birthday. The German rider was the Leopard Trek leader in the race, and would have had the full backing of the team.

However things didn’t follow that script. Early on during yesterday’s stage, several riders hit the deck and Voigt ran into them. The others were all able to resume the race; however Voigt was more badly hurt, and instead was taken to hospital.

“We had terrible weather conditions,” said directeur sportif Torsten Schmidt in a team report. “There was hard winds and rain. The temperatures never reached above 10-12°C during the race. The peloton went through a left-hand corner that was slippery because it was wet. Riders went down, and Jens couldn’t avoid them. It wasn’t possible for him to continue.”

X-rays in hospital diagnosed that he had a broken forefinger. The injury is a complicated one, being a comminuted fracture; this means that the bone has broken into a number of pieces, and an operation will be needed to ensure that it heals correctly.

This operation will be carried out in the next few days in Germany.

Schmidt said that he regretted how things had turned out for Voigt, particularly as the race route suited him well. “He was our guy for the general classification here,” he said. “He had a good chance for a strong showing because the time trial in this race can be so decisive. It’s a pity he is out of the tour because of a crash.”

Five other Leopard Trek riders remain in the race, namely Linus Gerdemann, Joost Posthuma, Giacomo Nizzolo, Domenik Klemme and Will Clarke. Schmidt nominates Gerdemann and Posthuma as being the most likely leaders now that Voigt has withdrawn.

Nizzolo will be the protected rider for the bunch sprint finishes, although he was too cold yesterday to fight Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad) for the win. Gerdemann was best-placed in 19th overall.

As for Voigt, it remains to be seen if he will be able to compete again this season. However his fans will get to support him again next season, as he signed an additional one year contract in recent days. Voigt will be part of the new-look Radioshack-Nissan-Trek team in 2012.

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