BMC Racing's Ben Hermans has resumed training again as he recovers from multiple fractures suffered in stage 3 at the Tour of Poland on July 31. Hermans fractured his right wrist, his left big toe and his sternum, along with multiple broken teeth, in a heavy crash on the descent off the first climb of the day in Salmopol.
Hermans, who will ride on the Pro Continental level next year with Israel Cycling Academy, was on pace for one of his most successful seasons yet after winning two stages and the overall at the Tour of Oman in February, but broken ribs suffered in a freak crash after the finish at la Flèche Wallonne sidelined him for the rest of the Classics. He returned for the Giro d'Italia, where he finished sixth on stage 11 but then abandoned on stage 19 to Bormio. Plans for the rest of the season are now up in the air as he recovers from the Poland crash.
"His recent scans are all good and he has been given the go ahead from the radiologist," said BMC Racing team doctor Max Testa. "Now he needs to pass the test on the road and begin to build up his training. We will have a better idea early next week of when Ben can return to racing. It could be as soon as 10 days, so once his fitness is where it needs to be, we will select his race program accordingly."
Hermans said he is feeling "pretty OK" about his recovery so far and the progress of his fractured bones.
"They are healing well and they don't hold me back from riding the bike," the 31-year-old Belgian said. "The worst healing process is with my broken teeth. They are provisionally repaired but still bother me, so I'm just waiting until they are 100 per cent healed. My neck is still a bit stiff but is loosening up.
Hermans said that he has put in multiple four-hour rides since receiving a green light from doctors to begin training on the road one week ago.
"Before that, I did some session on the rollers on days that I was feeling well, especially after the surgery on my nose," he said. "So I think I didn't lose too much of form and I am hoping to be fit again soon. We still need to decide together with medical staff and directors when I will be able to make my comeback to racing this year. But for sure I will race again in September or October."