Cadel Evans' crash on Friday while training in the Pyrenees will not put his Tour de France in danger, his team Davitamon-Lotto confirmed today. Cyclingnews' John Trevorrow spoke to Cadel's team director and mentor Allan Peiper at the Giro d'Italia, where he updated us on the situation.
"He crashed going down the Aubisque with Mario Aerts, behind the team car. There was some gravel on the road and he hit it, slipped, and did his knees, hip and shoulder. He's got a hairline crack in his collarbone, but it's not broken. They didn't have to open him up, he had the scan last night at the hospital in Belgium.
"I got a phone call from the doctor at 2:00am and I spoke to Cadel at 10pm last night. He was more worried about me than himself! 'I'll be fine, I'll be fine. It's OK,' he said. And Steegmans won in France yesterday, and Robbie wins, so we got two wins and a broken collarbone."
Cadel's recovery prospects look good, and he shouldn't miss too much training, according to Peiper. "He'll have three days off bike, four days on the rollers, then back on the bike. He's got to go into Brussels tomorrow or the next day to get an intravenous injection into the bone marrow. We'll probably change his program a bit. He was down for Catalunya, but we'll bypass that. He was going to do the Dauphine, then the team time trial, then the Tour, so we'll have to look at that. He'll probably do the Tour de Suisse, and a bit later, still do some training in the Alps, depending on what he wants to do as well. We'll make the decision when we get a bit closer. The Dauphine is not as important this year, because it doesn't do any of the climbs that are in the Tour.
Peiper also indicated that Henk Vogels is in with a good chance of riding the Tour de France. "Yep, he's going well. Marc [Sergeant] spoke to Henk's manager last night and he wants Henk in the Tour."
In his diary on his website, cadel.com.au, Cadel wrote, "I've got a sore ankle, hip, knee, head and shoulder. I'm a bit buckled up actually. It was only a silly crash but something that I just couldn't avoid...And now I can report that there's a little break in one of the holes where the pins were placed during a previous operation. It's a small fracture, and of course I'm being honest when I say that I really don't think it will affect anything for my preparation for the Tour de France."
"The crash happened while we were descending the Col d'Aubisque. Considering I was riding at over 50kph, I've got to consider myself lucky that I'm not worse off. It's only the second time that I've crashed my road bike during a training ride over the past 15 years and I'm just thankful that my injuries aren't worse than they are."
White can sympathise
Cadel's compatriot Matt White (Cofidis) could relate to what happened to Cadel, as he had something similar happen when he crashed while warming up for the prologue of the Tour de France last year in Liege. Cyclingnews' John Trevorrow asked Matt about the bone healing operation that Peiper mentioned. "Yeah, I had it last year," said White. "They take a bit of your blood out, they take the white cells out and inject the white cells back into the fracture, and it heals up quickly. It's really painful - seriously, it hurts like hell, but it's amazing, and it helps repair the bone very fast. I had it three times, and after the first time I was back on my home trainer in 36 hours and I was back on the bike in eight days. I had to take a lot of calcium to heal quicker. Brad McGee broke his collarbone before the Sydney Olympics, and that's what they did for Brad."
White also lost one of his Spanish neighbours, Kiwi Julian Dean (Credit Agricole), due to a crash in Stage 6 at the Giro d'Italia. "That's really bad luck for Julian," said Matt. "They're taking him back to Valencia and he's having surgery today."