Lotto-Soudal riders Thomas De Gendt and Gert Dockx are in hospital after being involved in a collision with the car. The Belgian team posted on Twitter confirming the accident and said that there were no life threatening injuries.
The pair have both undergone initial examinations but will have further tests in Belgium to establish the extent of their injuries. The circumstances of the accident are not clear but Lotto-Soudal say that it happened during a training ride in Spain. Dockx was due to ride Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in just over a week, it is not known if his injuries will prevent him from doing so.
Gert Dockx explained the incident on the Lotto-Soudal web page. “We were riding next to each other, Thomas on the left and I on the right. The car came from the right and appeared to be stopping. In a fraction of a second I thought the front of the car was quite far on the main road, but before we realized we got hit by the car. Because the car came from the right especially my right leg was hit by the bumper. I can lean on the leg, but walking is difficult. I hope I don’t have any fractures, but further tests will have to determine that.”
De Gendt said he had a sore neck, back, wrist and fingers, but was lucky he was wearing his helmet.
"I think that thanks to our helmet we don’t have a head injury," De Gendt said. "I hope I don’t have any severe fractures, but further tests are needed to conclude that. Our bikes are broken, but we were lucky after all, it could have been much worse. We were riding on the main road, so that the car – coming from a side street – should have stopped.
"The riders of Vastgoedservice are staying in the same hotel as us. Kevin Hulsmans, sports director of Vastgoedservice, took care of us and took us to hospital, we are grateful for that.”
Lotto Soudal doctor Servaas Bingé was in contact with the hospital near Calpe where the initial exams were performed. "The injuries of Thomas and Gert are not life threatening. Because of the limited options for further tests at the hospital over there the question was if both riders are well enough to be transferred to Belgium. That is the case, so Thomas and Gert will soon be coming back to Belgium for further examinations.
"Afterwards we’ll be able to tell how severe the injuries are and how long the riders have to remain out of competition. They definitely have bruises and abrasions, but I can’t rule out the possibility that they have fractures as well.”
The accident is the latest in a line of collisions involving riders and cars. Most recently, Australian rider Annette Edmondson collided with a car while training in Australia. Fortunately, she avoided any serious injury and is still on course to ride at the Track World Championships next month.
Giant-Alpecin were not as lucky when their team was decimated by a driver traveling on the wrong side of the road while they were training in Calpe, Spain. The crash saw Warren Barguil, John Degenkolb, Chad Haga, Fredrik Ludvigsson, Ramon Sinkeldam and Max Walscheid all suffer injuries, some worse than others. Haga and Degenkolb were the worst affected, with Haga spending several days in hospital and Degenkolb almost losing his finger.