During the final stage of the Tour of California, Team Belkin's Moreno Hofland hit the deck hard. The Dutch sprinter sustained a fracture in his L2, lower back, vertebrae and multiple rib fractures. The 22-year old has to stay in a Californian hospital for a week before he can be flown home. The medical staff of Team Belkin predicts a full recovery from his injuries.
In the first stage, from Sacramento to Sacramento, Hofland sprinted to third. He was beaten by Mark Cavendish and John Degenkolb but finished ahead of Peter Sagan and Danny van Poppel.
Hofland has a breakthrough season in his second year with the pros. The 2012 national under 23 champion made his mark in October last year with three stage wins and the overall in the Tour of Hainan. He continued his winning ways with a victory in the Ruta del Sol, a stage in Paris-Nice and the Volta Limburg Classic.
Recovery from a fractured vertebrae and broken ribs takes many weeks. It is unlikely that Hofland will be present at the Dutch national championships in Ootmarsum on the 29th of June. The course in the east of the Netherlands suits Hofland very well and it might have been a great opportunity to add another national jersey to his collection.