The entire Giant-Alpecin team were left in shock after a head-on collision with a car in Spain left six of the their riders needing emergency medical assistance. Team manager Iwan Spekenbrink has told Cyclingnews that all the families of the riders have been notified but that the team are in a state of shock.
The team were training in Calpe when reports suggest that a car came on the wrong side of the road, driving into the group of riders.
Warren Barguil, John Degenkolb, Chad Haga, Fredrik Ludvigsson, Ramon Sinkeldam and Max Walscheid were all involved in the crash, with a string of injuries inflicted.
“The team will need some time to recover from this. The team is like a close family and I know that with everyone supporting each other the team can come through this. As a team we have an amazing spirit. We are there for each other,” Iwan Spekenbrink told Cyclingnews.
Degenkolb suffered a serious hand injury, confirming later on Facebook that a finger had almost been entirely severed. The team confirmed that Degenkolb had successful surgery on a cut to his upper leg and is currently receiving treatment for his hand and a fracture to his forearm.
Haga was airlifted to hospital, suffering from neck and facial injuries. The team said he had successful surgery on his neck and chin wounds. Haga also has an orbital fracture that will be treated later.
Haga's mother has given more details on his condition in a Facebook message: Chad Haga in stable condition after Giant-Alpecin accident.
Barguil suffered a fractured scaphoid in his wrist. He may require surgery but that is not yet determined, the team said. Walscheid fractured his hand and tibia, and surgery is likely required. Ludvigsson suffered scratches and bruises all over his body but is otherwise OK. Sinkeldam also escaped with multiple scratches and bruises.
“This is a really big blow for the entire team but of course the riders who were hit and their families,” Spekenbrink told Cyclingnews.
Spekenbrink, who was understandably unwilling to go into the details of the incident, was unable to talk to the media until almost midnight, making sure that he and his staff had notified each of the riders' families and loved ones after consulting expert medical staff within his team and the hospitals where riders had been brought. With Haga’s family in the US, Spekenbrink took extra time this afternoon and this evening to make sure he reached out to them due to the time differences.
“I know that crashes happen in cycling, we all do, but the nature of this one doesn’t belong in sport. I saw that image of the bikes on the ground, there are no words for that. I had no words when I saw that.
“A lot of the other riders saw the crash and they are all shocked. They came back to the hotel and you can imagine how shocked they all are. The team will need some time to recover.”
Spekenbrink confirmed that the Giant-Alpecin team would carry on racing at the Tour Down Under. The race concludes on Sunday.