A crash early on in the third stage of the Tour of Qatar resulted in hospitalisation for Karsten Kroon (Saxo-Tinkoff) with the Dutchman sustaining a deep cut to his right thigh which will result in three months off the bike. The Tour of Qatar was his first race of his 16th season.
Kroon, along with teammates Jonas Aaen Jørgensen and Matti Breschel, were caught up in the crash after just 18km of racing that brought down around 20 riders. While Jørgensen and Breschel escaped with bruising, 37-year-old Kroon was not so lucky.
"Someone in the front of the peloton went down and from then on, things went fast," he said. "A bunch of riders crashed in front of me and I couldn't get around the pile-up. Somehow I must have landed right down on a chain ring and it cut up my thigh. I'm extremely disappointed."
Kroon required stitches to a six centimetre gash to his vastus medialis which was described by his team as "very deep".
"I had a good feeling and I was looking forward to the spring classics, which are my favorite races of the year and now I'm going to miss the entire spring," continued the 2009 runner-up of Amstel Gold. "Hopefully, I can get back in form for the summer races."