Jurgen Roelandts has been cleared to race again for the first time since crashing in the first stage of the Tour Down Under in January. The Lotto Belisol rider hopes to return to racing at the Tour of Belgium, which starts in two weeks.
Roelandts broke his sixth cervical vertebra when he hit the road at 70km/h during the run-in to the closing sprint in Australia. He was able to fly back to Belgium with his teammates after the race and had hoped to race again at Tirreno-Adriatico, but instead was in hospital again for a week in February. One of the bruised blood vessels in his head developed a blood clot which affected the flow of blood to his brain, and he was put on blood thinners.
Now, however, scans have shown that the problem has been resolved and the blood thinners are no longer necessary.
"The result of the research is in fact a normal evolution in the recovery process,” said team doctor Jan Mathieu on the team's website. “Such an injury requires three to six months recovery, but riders usually heal pretty quickly, so Jürgen can now again look forward to competition. In all probability, the Tour of Belgium. "
"I'm quite relieved that I can have a concrete goal in mind again,” Roelandts said. “The Tour of Belgium starts in about two weeks, but in recent weeks I've been on my bike every day. Not to my limit, but the basic condition should be there.”