A crash against a car caused Tejay Van Garderen's withdrawal from Paris-Nice
Mar 04 2018 11:03 pm CET

A crash against a car caused Tejay Van Garderen's withdrawal from Paris-Nice
A crash against a car caused Tejay Van Garderen's withdrawal from Paris-Nice
Photo of Tejay Van Garderen © Mary Cárdenas / CyclingPub.com

BMC Racing Team's Tejan Van Garderen has suffered a cervical sprain as a consequence of two crashes during the opening stage of Paris-Nice.

The American first was the victim of a crash in the peloton that was visible on TV, but it was a posterior accident with another team car causing the injuries that forced him to withdraw from the race. "Tejay van Garderen crashed with about 35km to go and was immediately taken to hospital for observation," said team doctor Michel Cerfontaine.

"X-rays revealed a cervical sprain but fortunately no fractures. He has some abrasions on his forehead and left hip. Normally, Tejay can start training in 3-4 days and in one week, he will have another x-ray to determine how the sprain is healing. We will continue to monitor his progress over the coming days."

The rider explained the two moments at which he hit the deck. "The initial crash wasn’t so bad. It was on a wide road when everyone was fighting for position and my tire was caught on a lip," he said. "The roads were wet and my wheel slipped out. I was able to get back up and get going but I had trouble putting my chain back on and I noticed other damage with my gears and a puncture, so I thought I would have to change bikes.

"I was looking down to see what the damage was and next thing I knew I was on the ground as I had crashed into the back of a team car that had stopped on the road. I don’t know if anyone was at fault as they had stopped for their rider."

The next moments were concerning for the rider, the team and the medical assistance. "I had the wind knocked out of me and I couldn’t breathe," Van Garderen commented. "I also had pain in my upper back and neck so I couldn’t really sit up. When the medics arrived and saw my helmet smashed and that I was having trouble breathing, they put me straight into the ambulance.

"After a few minutes, I realised it wasn’t so bad. The medics went through some concussion protocols and I didn’t show any signs of concussion. Fortunately, X-rays showed no fractures. It’s good to take precautions but in the end, maybe I could have been able to continue. I have pain in my neck and a bit of a headache, but I don’t feel nauseous."

After realising that he is still in good condition, the rider now mostly feels disappointed because he had the intention of fighting for GC at Paris-Nice. "I had good form at Volta ao Algarve and I was hoping to be able to capitalise on that. Hopefully, I can get back on the bike soon, keep moving forward and maybe look at the race program to make up for the missed days here. It’s only March 4th so there are plenty of races to come," he concluded.




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