Prior to Teuns enjoying his fourth win in a week, Hermans had left the race via an ambulance after a heavy crash on the descent of the first climb in Salmopol. BMC's team doctor Daniele Zaccaria provided an update on Hermans, listing the long injury list sustained in the crash.
"Ben Hermans was transferred to the Szpital Wojewodzki hospital immediately after his crash where extensive scans were performed to determine the nature of his injuries," Zaccaria said. "X-Rays revealed a fractured right wrist, a fractured left hallux (big toe) and a fracture on his sternum. He also has three broken teeth and many contusions, including facial contusions, sustained in the crash.
"Fortunately, CT and abdominal scans revealed no broken vertebrae or internal bleeding so Ben is quite lucky to escape with the injuries he has. Ben did lose consciousness for a few moments as he crashed and although he regained consciousness soon after, we will continue to monitor his concussion which is why he remains under observation."
Zaccaria added that Hermans will initially remain in Poland until able to fly back to Belgium where he will continue his recovery then rehabilitation.
"As of today, it looks like Ben will be off the bike for at least four to six weeks however, once he is back in Belgium, we will monitor his recovery and adjust this prognosis accordingly," Zaccaria said. "Ben will be transferred to a larger hospital in Krakow or home to Belgium as soon as he is fit to do so. At this stage, no surgery is required."
Hermans, 31, was building for the second half of 2017 after a mid-year break and was to co-lead BMC's GC aspirations in Poland. With his race over, Hermans explained in a team statement he cannot recall the aftermath of the crash but was able to describe how it occurred.
"I don't really remember anything directly after the crash but what I think happened was we were going down the descent of the first climb at high speeds," Hermans said. "We went into a wide corner and riders started to panic and brake really hard. I don't think the corner was dangerous, it was doable, but I was close to the rider in front of me and I had to veer to the right and so I went out of the corner and hit the rail."
He added that he is in a world of pain with his sternum a particularly impeding his ability to move pain-free.
"I had a couple of hours' sleep last night and I'm in quite a lot of pain. My broken teeth are painful as is my fractured wrist," he said. "I have muscular pain in my other arm so right now I can't really move my arms. My fractured sternum also makes it painful to try and move. It's definitely disappointing to be out like this."