A crash in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya has taken Wilco Kelderman out of the Giro d'Italia for Team Sunweb. The Dutch rider broke his left collarbone and a neck vertebrae. He had successful surgery on the collarbone last week, but the neck problem remains a long-term issue.
"On Monday he will have further checks with specialists at the hospital in Utrecht," team doctor Anko Boelens said on the team's website. "If the outcome is positive, then he will need to wear a cast for at least another five weeks, which rules him unfortunately out of Giro d’Italia participation."
Kelderman called it, "a big challenge. I’m of course really disappointed that I will miss a big part of my season again but for now I have to take it one step at a time. Hopefully I can be back racing later this year but I don’t want to look too far forward at the moment.”
He has been plagued by injuries since joining Sunweb. He had to abandon the 2017 Giro, won by teammate Tom Dumoulin, after a crash on the ninth stage. Last year he missed the Giro after breaking his collarbone at Tirreno-Adriatico, and then missed the Tour de France after injuring the same shoulder in the Dutch national road race.
The 28-year-old was expected to captain the team for this year's Tour de France, until Dumoulin announced that he would try the Giro-Tour double again this year. That moved Kelderman into the role of a helper at both races.
The team said that it is, "currently working on a replacement for the Giro d’Italia and will announce this alongside their line-up in the coming weeks.”