Just over six months after being involved in a horrific crash at the Vuelta a Espana, Kris Boeckmans is set to make his racing return the Lotto-Soudal team has confirmed. The Belgian will be part of Lotto Soudal's line-up for the Handzame Classic this Friday.
"After a rehabilitation process of several months, Kris Boeckmans will get back in competition this Friday. At the Handzame Classic the Belgian rider will make his comeback after his life-threatening crash in the Vuelta six and a half months ago," a statement on the team's website said.
Boeckmans crashed heavily on the eighth stage of the Vuelta a Espana, after coming down in a spill that would also end the season for Tejay van Garderen (BMC). Boeckmans was by far the worst injured in the incident and was put into an induced coma for two weeks to enable his recovery. He suffered a laundry list of injuries, including severe facial trauma, three broken ribs and bleeding on the lung.
It has been a long and slow process towards recovery for Boeckmans but, as he told Cyclingnews late last year, he has been eager to make his return to racing action.
"I've been thinking about a comeback and racing since I woke up from my coma. Within an hour, I was thinking about it. My head still needs some recovery but already if you compare where I was two weeks ago there's so much progress," he told Cyclingnews last December.
It is Boeckmans' first appearance at the Handzame Classic, which often ends in a sprint to the line. Etixx-QuickStep's Gianni Meersman is the defending champion after he beat Antoine Demoitie and Tiesj Benoot.
Lotto-Soudal's full line-up for the race is yet to be confirmed.