Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Cervelo) faces several weeks on the sidelines after crashing out of Paris-Nice earlier this month. The Dutchman fractured seven ribs, suffered a punctured lung, cuts and bruises and was left unconscious on stage 7 from Brignoles - Biot to Sophia Antipolis.
Despite being released from hospital last week Maaskant must undergo several more medical tests and visits and early prognosis indicates he will miss between five and six weeks of riding, meaning he will miss the entire Spring Classics campaign.
“I don’t remember much about the crash,” Maskant told Cyclingnews from his home in Belgium. "All I remember is that my back wheel slipped away but the rest is blank. I woke up in the ambulance and straight away I knew that things were serious. I knew immediately that my ribs were broken.”
While most of the cuts and bruises sustained have begun to heal, Maaskant faces complications with his lung injury after blood was discovered in the lung.
“Because of the bruising around my lung there’s a bit of blood in there. I have to work closely with the doctors and I felt awful at the weekend. Things are little better now. The specialist working on my lungs wants to follow me really closely.”
Maaskant was hoping to ride a full set of Classics this month. Having finished fourth in Paris-Roubaix in 2008 and fourth in the 2009 Tour of Flanders he has been Garmin’s most consistently successful rider in the Spring.
“The doctors say that I should be riding normally in 5 to 6 week but of course I can't be sure because it depends on my recovery. It's a blow to be out of the Classics.My form was really good, I felt great and looked forward to the Spring so much. I can’t set any objectives for the rest of the season yet but I can’t wait to get back on the bike again.”
Garmin-Cervelo’s next race is tomorrow’s Dwars door Vlaanderen, in Belgium. The team will be led by Heinrich Haussler and Tyler Farrar.