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“Of course we are all thinking of Kris tonight. I was riding just behind him when it happened. He was drinking when he rode over a hole, tumbled over his handlebar and hit the ground very hard.”

Photo: Lotto Soudal








29.08.2015 @ 23:25 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Today the eighth stage of the Vuelta was scheduled, between Puebla de Don Fadrique and Murcia. It was an emotional day for Lotto Soudal.


Fifty kilometres from the finish there was a big crash in the peloton, Kris Boeckmans was one of the main victims. At that moment Jasper De Buyst was part of a breakaway of six, which would be reeled in before the second ascent of the Alto de la Cresta del Gallo (3rd category).


There were a series of attacks on the climb, with top seventeen kilometres from the end. After some different situations, Elissonde, Gonçalves and Losada were riding in front. In the chasing group Jurgen Van den Broeck was pulling together with guys of Trek and Tinkoff Saxo. With three and a half kilometres to go the leading trio was caught. One and a half kilometres later Adam Hansen took his chance, but the chasing group passed the Australian in the last few 100m. Tosh Van der Sande then sprinted to sixth place. The victory went to Jasper Stuyven.


“After we had climbed the Cresta del Gallo for the second time I rode in the chasing group together with three teammates (Bart De Clercq, Adam Hansen and Jurgen Van den Broeck, ed)," van der Sande said. "Jurgen Van den Broeck did an excellent job chasing down the leaders. In the last kilometres Adam attacked. I already got to the front of the group about 400 metres from the finish, when Adam was still ahead of us, that turned out to be too soon. The riders behind me were racing at a higher speed. I hesitated for a moment and got boxed in. A pity, you don’t often get chances like this.


“Congratulations to Jasper Stuyven, but I would have loved to be the one to take his first pro victory here. I am hugely disappointed, because it could have been me. I felt as strong as Jasper, this was a major opportunity. The positive thing is that I notice that I got stronger, that I can survive such a tough finale. I’m looking forward to more of this, I’m ready! Like, the stage on Monday, with a second category climb at just over fifteen kilometres of the finish.


“Of course we are all thinking of Kris tonight. I was riding just behind him when it happened. He was drinking when he rode over a hole, tumbled over his handlebar and hit the ground very hard.”


Kris Boeckmans was taken to a hospital in Murcia. The 28-year-old rider has a severe facial trauma with several fractures, he’ll probably need surgery. Boeckmans also has a concussion, three broken ribs and had a bleeding in his lung. The doctors will now keep him in an induced coma for a few days.



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