Team High Road's Linus Gerdemann was supposed to have surgery on Monday, in Innsbruck, Austria, following his crash in the Tirreno time trial. Instead, he is now in a hospital in Hamburg, Germany. The German crashed heavily on Sunday's Tirreno-Adriatico time trial after passing Danilo Di Luca and clipping a barrier which put the rider into a somersault.
Gerdemann expects to undergo an operation later this week to help his recovery process. "I have a lower leg fracture and a femur fracture above the left knee, plus deep scrape wounds," he told dpa. "Those must heal first before they can do an operation, otherwise there is too much danger of infection. I figure they will operate in three days. My leg is now in a plaster cast."
"My Tour de France participation is surely problematic now," he added. Gerdemann added that he wouldn't rush the healing process, which is expected to take between six and eight weeks.
"I will do my very best to be back on the bike as soon as possible and I will fight to become part of the 2008 Tour de France," said Gerdemann.
High Road Sport Director Rolf Aldag was to visit his young star on Monday. "Linus is undergoing the whole program of examinations now," Aldag told sid. "This is naturally a great loss for Rund um Köln and the Giro d'Italia. But right now we don't want to see everything so negatively and write off his Tour start already."
It was the second blow within a week to the American team's hopes for the Tour de France. Gerdemann and Australian Michael Rogers were expected to be the team's captains in the Tour, but the participation of both riders is now under question. Rogers was diagnosed last week with Epstein-Barr virus, knocking him out of competition for eight weeks.