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The Belgian Ardennes specialists has been diagnosed with a radial head fracture after crashing on the first stage of the Tour de San Luis and faces 10 days of partial inactivity

Photo: Sirotti

JELLE VANENDERT

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28.01.2014 @ 18:58 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Belisol) has got his season off to a bad start after he has been diagnosed with a radial head fracture sustained in a crash on the first stage of the Tour de San Luis. The Belgian will probably miss the Challenge Mallorca but is expected to be back in competition at the Ruta del Sol.

 

Jelle Vanendert didn't get the expected outcome from his first race of the season, the Tour de San Luis, which finished on Sunday. The Belgian had hoped to build up condition for the coming season while riding under the Argentinean sun but instead the race ended as one of suffering for the Ardennes specialist.

 

Already on the first stage he hit the deck in a crash that also involved his new Lotto Belisol teammate Sander Armee. Both were able to continue in the race but while Armee managed to recover enough to finish 15th on Saturday's final mountain stage, Vanendert's condition never improved. As he was in pain whenever he raised from the saddle after exiting a corner, he finally abandoned the race on the final stage.

 

After returning to Belgium, Vanendert has been diagnosed with a radial head fracture but will need no surgery. The fracture implies a partial inactivity of 10 days and Vanendert has to wear an elbow brace in that period but he can maintain his condition by training on the rollers.

 

If he gets the all-clear after a new visit to the doctor, he can resume the normal training. His scheduled participation in the Challenge Mallorca is likely to be cancelled but he is expected to return to competition in the Ruta del Sol which begins on February 19.

 

The crash comes at a bad time for Vanendert who will be hoping to reach his best form for the Ardennes classics. After riding really well in the 2011 Tour de France and the Ardennes in 2012, he had a disastrous and illness-plagued 2013 season.

 

With his contract set to expire at the end of 2014, he decided to extend it for another year but accepted a lower salary. The decision was made in an attempt to have more security, avoiding the risk that another bad year could see him lose the opportunity to continue at the highest level.

 

Vanendert will join forces with Jurgen van den Broeck and Tony Gallopin as Lotto Belisol leaders in the Ardennes.

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