By Susan Westemeyer
A motorcycle ran into Grischa Niermann in the first stage of Tirreno-Adriatico and that promptly caused a mass crash, "with about 40 riders spread out all over the road," including four of his Rabobank teammates. "Somehow I made it to the finish, even if I could barely put any weight on my swollen left foot," he wrote on his website, grischa-niermann.de.
The team doctor denied him from continuing the race and sent him home, more or less against his will. "It was good that he told me to go, because I probably would have started the second stage. The pain wasn't really that bad." Back home in Germany, x-rays revealed that there was a splinter broken off of his left ankle. It doesn't need to be operated on but Niermann will have to rest it for a few days before he can start training again. He hopes to back for the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, beginning April 9.