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"A scan was taken at the hospital and it showed that Stig has two bleedings in his brain. Stig is in a non-induced coma, but for the moment he doesn’t need to undergo surgery."

Photo: Lotto Soudal

BELGIUM TOUR

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS
28.05.2016 @ 23:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Another bad crash caused by motorbikes prompted the organizers and the riders to cancel the queen stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour. After an aggressive start to the stage, 19 riders hit the deck and when 11 were brought to the hospital by ambulance, the decision was made to ride slowly to the finish, meaning that Dries Devenyns (IAM) retains the lead on the eve of the final stage.

 

We have gathered several reactions and injury updates

 

Stig Broeckx in coma after Belgium Tour crash

This afternoon Stig Broeckx got seriously hurt in an accident during the third stage of the Belgium Tour. In a descent the young Belgian was involved in a crash of about twenty riders, caused by a crash of two motorbikes. Broeckx was seriously injured and he immediately received medical attention at the side of the road, afterwards a helicopter transported him to the hospital of Aachen.

 

Team doctor Servaas Bingé said: 

 

“It was immediately clear that Stig had incurred a head injury and that he needed to be transported to a neurosurgical centre. Together with the race doctor and the medical emergency team we decided to transport him to the hospital of Aachen, which has the necessary infrastructure. A scan was taken at the hospital and it showed that Stig has two bleedings in his brain. Stig is in a non-induced coma, but for the moment he doesn’t need to undergo surgery. He doesn’t have a skull fracture, but he does have a fractured eye socket, which will be further evaluated later. At this point, it is very difficult to give a prognosis about a full recovery. The next 24 hours he will be very closely monitored.”

 

Manager Marc Sergeant added:

 

“Of course we are very shaken by all that has happened today. Last year our team had very difficult moments after the accident of Kris Boeckmans, exactly three months ago Stig was already hit by a motorbike in Kuurne and a few weeks later the peloton had to cope with the death of Antoine Demoitié. This is very hard for all staff members and riders, but even more for the family and friends of Stig. We can only hope that there is a positive evolution in the condition of Stig and we will support him and his family the best we can, both medically and emotionally.

 

“After the neutralisation, the riders gathered in the team bus and drove to the team hotel were they stayed together to support each other and to talk about what happened. After deliberation we informed the organisation that we won’t ride the last stage of the Belgium Tour. At the moment it is pointless to make any accusations, but it should have been obvious much longer that structural measures concerning the safety of the riders are necessary.”

 

No major injuries for Kristoffer Skjerping

Cannondale had Kristoffer Skjerping involved in the crash

@kskjerping #BelgiumTour crash update: lots of skin lost, lots of pain but x-rays all clear. Thoughts w/ those with more serious injuries,” the team tweeted after the stage.

 

Fredrik Ludvigsson suffers fractured scaphoid in Belgium Tour crash

Fredrik Ludvigsson (SWE) crashed out of the Baloise Belgium Tour on the fourth day of racing today after a dramatic crash in the peloton. The race was initially neutralised, but the race organizer took the decision to cancel the stage.

Team physician Anko Boelens (NED) explained: "Fredrik has a scaphoid fracture to his left arm. For now he will wear a cast for a minimum of six weeks. He will travel back to Sweden where he undergoes extra examination to determine if surgery is needed. The average recovery time is minimally nine weeks before returning to competition."

"It happened so fast and I couldn't do anything to avoid it," said Ludvigsson. "I am really disappointed but I have to accept it."

 

Enrico Gasparotto: If it were up to me, we would go home immediately

"I did not have to think long to stop the race," Wanty’s Enrico Gasparotto told Het Nieuwsblad. "This accident is another bad thing for cycling. I did not see it happen. After all, I found myself at the front of the peloton. We have already lost Antoine this year. He died in a race. One tragedy is more than enough. We are not only riders but also fathers, we all have family. You have to consider that. The competition is not the most important. Life is the most important thing. The race was cancelled and the only right decision was taken.”

 

"We'll see what happens tomorrow. We should discuss that with the other guys. If it were up to me, we would all go home immediately. I understand that there are different interests. Anyway, I ride for a Belgian team. This is the Tour of Belgium. It isvery important for the sponsors but a human life is more valuable? We know exactly how it feels to lose a friend and teammate. Forever. After Gent-Wevelgem everyone wanted to have safer races. Today we are one month later and then this happens. It is about time we really think about safety in cycling. But we must also encourage the riders to look at themselves. Ten years ago, everyone would make room for a two-time winner of the Amstel Gold Race. Now it is completely different. That's quite the case. Everyone is fighting for his place. The mutual respect is lacking.”

 

"I find it logical that the riders who have taken a decision," said Hilaire Van Der Schueren, sports director of Wanty-Groupe Gobert. "There were plenty of riders that had to be taken to hospital for further examination. Therefore there were no ambulances or doctors that could accompany the race.”

 

"I thought about the crash of Antoine (Demoitié). I saw that awful picture again. Today, however, we were spared from damage with the team. None of my riders were involved in the crash, to my great relief. Of course you feel for the other teams.

 

"We're driving to the hotel and we eat together and get a massage. Then we will discuss the stage tomorrow. I already assume that we will go again in Sunday and do the final stage Tremelo-Tongeren.”

 

Bad injury for Pieter Jacobs in Belgium Tour crash

There were bad news for Peter Jacobs. One of our most experienced guys at Crelan will be out of action for months as he broke two vertebrae.

 

"L2 and L4 are broken," team manager Kevin Hulsmans confirmed from the hospital in Malmedy."There will now be a discussion about whether he will be transferred to the Hospital of Maastricht or Genk. There he will be further investigated and it will be decided whether surgery is needed.

 

"Anyway, he already knows he will spend six weeks in a corset. This means that Pieter will be out of action for three months. And that is not a pleasant prospect, neither for him nor for our team.  Pieter was one of the pillars of the team.”

 

"Yesterday we lost the leader's jersey with Wout but today you can see things in a different perspective. Hopefully, it will be good for everyone.

 

Baptiste Planckaert: The motorcyclists took a lot of risk

"The motorcyclists have taken a lot of risk," Baptiste Plackaert told Het Nieuwsblad.

 

"Two motorcyclists wanted to pass the peloton which was riding at about 75km/H. But the first one slipped in a puddle of mud and collided with the other. They ended up in a group of riders causing a huge crash.

 

"The motorcyclists took too many risks because they knew the peloton rode at high speed. Some horn signals could have prevented this crash. Then the peloton had been warned, and the riders would have been out of the way.”

 

Belgium Tour organizer defends safety measures

"Accidents can always happen, especially when you do not expect it," says race director Rob Discart. "We should not judge us only on this one moment. We have taken adequate measures to organize this stage race in the best and safest conditions. We have had no complaints about the safety. On the contrary, I was told yesterday that our race is perfectly safe and very well organized. I have heard from eyewitnesses that the motorbike, due to a bad road, rode into a ditch and crashed. So this is a very unfortunate accident. The man in question was driving slowly and did not fly past the group and had sufficient attention to the movements in the peloton. Of course, we regret what happened. "

 

"Today's stage was neutralized in the first instance. There were no ambulances or doctors for the rest of the stage and this led to the decision to stop the race. This was the right decision. After about half an hour we realized that it would take a long time before ambulances would again be available. The accident also caused a very emotional reactions from the riders. In consultation with the head of the competition jury, myself and a few riders, we decided to completely stop the stage and ride in a group to Verviers. The intention is to continue. For me, we will ride again tomorrow but we will later discuss that with the riders and team managers.”

 

 

 

Jens Debusschere: The race is the last of our concerns

"We have experienced this more than enough lately," Jens Debusschere told Sporza. "I am currently not engaged in the race, I just want to know how it goes with Stig.

 

"He has had a lot of bad luck had this year. I hope he gets through this and that it's not all bad. No one wanted to continue. The riders decided. The race is the last of our worries.”

 

Topsport Vlaanderen manager: Everyone has to sit around a table and discuss safety measure

"What has happened is terrible," Topsport manager Hans De Clercq told Sporza. "There is an urgent need to sit around the table with all parties to find solutions.

 

"This is the second time in three months. They are two separate crashes, but it is very serious and I can understand the riders.

 

"I think a lot will depend on what happens to Broecx. Let's hope that everything goes in the positive direction. Then I think we will have a race tomorrow.”

 

Trek-Segafredo riders escape serious crash at the Belgium Tour

"It’s a miracle," said Trek sports director Dirk Demol whose riders were not involved in the crash. "They were very touched. It is the right decision that the race was stopped. After the crash it was quiet, even in the caravan. We could hear from the race radio that it was serious."

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