Poels to be transferred to Maastricht intensive care unit

Internal injuries for Vacansoleil rider

Dutch rider Wout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM) came into the Tour de France as one of the most promising young riders in the peloton, with a queen stage victory in the Tour of Luxembourg in his recent palmares. He left the Tour, however, as one of the most severely injured riders after a high-speed, massive crashed forced the abandon of a dozen riders on stage 6.

Poels will likely be transferred on Monday to the intensive care unit of the University Hospital in Maastricht after a stay since Friday night in a hospital in Nancy, France. He is suffering from a host of internal injuries: a ruptured spleen and kidney, a bruised lung and three broken ribs.

According to team doctor Peter Lagrou, Poels is in stable condition, but is in a great deal of pain.

Remarkably, after crashing with 25km to go with half the peloton, Poels got back onto his bike and rode 10km before finally abandoning stage 6 definitively.

Poels has been visited twice by the team manager Daan Luijkx, who says barring complications his rider will be transferred on Monday to the hospital closer to his home in The Netherlands.

"He needs to rest a lot and he said he has a lot of pain. He is not currently Wout as we know him," said Luijkx.

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