New Zealander Julian Dean will have to skip Paris-Roubaix next Sunday due to an injury. The 34-year-old crashed in Gent-Wevelgem and wounded his quadriceps, which needed stitches.
Dean had a major fright at the time, but in the end the injury ended up looking worse than it actually was. "A couple of riders skidded out on the wet road as we went through a roundabout," he recalled. "I became part of the mess going down also. Although I thought I was fine, when I went to get up it looked like I had been struck by an axe through the quadricep just above the left knee! After almost passing out at the sight I immediately lay back down and waited for help. I could not look at it again."
Fortunately, subsequent surgery was fast. "I was out and awake in time to watch the finish of the race and I made it back to the hotel before the boys were back from the race," he added.
Dean, who should be starting to train on a bike again in "a minimum of one week, maximum two", will be replaced by Hans Dekkers in Roubaix. "I am bummed that I am not going to be there for Martijn [Maaskant] on Sunday but you can bet I will be watching him go to work on the telly," said Dean, who has high hopes for his team's leader. "I really believe that if he has the luck (which you need a lot of in Roubaix) he will do something special!"