De Plus diagnosed with knee fracture from Il Lombardia crash

Examinations reveal minor injury for Belgian

Quick-Step Floors rider Laurens De Plus suffered a small fracture to his right knee in a dramatic crash into a ravine during Il Lombardia, the team announced on Monday.

De Plus was the first of four riders to crash in the same bend on the descent from the Sormano as he chased lone leader Mickael Cherel. He appeared to misjudge a turn, ran into the guardrail and the impact launched him and his bike over the edge.

After being attended to by medics at the scene, De Plus spent the night at the Cantù hospital, and on Sunday travelled back to Herentals where examinations revealed a small avulsion fracture - where the tendon pulled away a piece of the his tibia near his right knee. He will have to walk with crutches for two weeks.

"I was afraid that my knee was severely damaged, but fortunately it isn't that bad," De Plus said. "The doctors even told me that I've been really lucky with the outcome, as it could have been much worse."

De Plus recognized that he was much better off than Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale), who suffered seven broken ribs and two fractured vertebrae, and Simone Petilli, who broke his collarbone, shoulder blade, and had also fractured two vertebrae and suffered a concussion.

"My thoughts are also with the other riders who've crashed there, I wish them all the best. It's not the best way to end the season, but I'm looking on the positive side, which is that we're in the off season now and I have time to recover before joining the team for the December training camp," De Plus said.

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