Eight riders were injured in the first stage of the Eneco Tour Wednesday, one seriously. Gorik Gardeyn was the worst off after a mass crash only metres before the finish line.
The crash occurred about 10 riders back in the peloton during a mass sprint. Two riders collided into each other and went down, and the riders behind them in the onrushing peloton had no chance to avoid further crashes.
Gardeyn (Silence-Lotto), whose wife witnessed the whole incident, was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with four or five broken ribs and a double fracture of his right shoulder blade.
Yohan Offredo of Francaise des Jeux suffered an injury to his left shoulder.
Others injured were Maxime Vantomme (Katusha), Sebastien Turgot (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), and Koen De Kort (Skil Shimano), all of whom suffered bruises and scrapes. They are expected to start again tomorrow.
In an earlier crash, 85km into the race, three riders were injured. Bobbie Traksel (Vacansoliel) was able to continue with some scrapes, but the other two weren't so lucky. Luis Pasamontes of Caisse d'Epargne was taken to hospital with a suspected concussion. Milram sprinter Wim Stroetinga was diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder, and team manager Gerry van Gerwen said the young Dutch rider would be out for several weeks.
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