Roelandts suffers fractured cervical vertebra

Lotto rider reported to be able to move

André Greipel from the Lotto-Belisol team may have won the first stage of the Santos Tour Down Under today, but his teammate Jürgen Roelandts has been diagnosed with a fractured vertebra after the race, following a mass crash within the final kilometre of the stage.

A scan performed at hospital in Adelaide revealed that Roelandts broke his sixth cervical vertebra when he hit the tarmac at 70km/h during the run-up to the final sprint. According to directeur sportif Herman Frison, "he is in pain, but he can speak and move."

Roelandts was even able to send a picture of himself on his Twitter account before he had the scan done, which did not reveal any additional injury as previously might have been feared.

Now Roelandts and his team are waiting for a specialist to assess the fracture and recovery period. "It's a pity that Roelandts can't start tomorrow and we'll have to defend the leader's jersey with only six men," Frison added to Sporza.

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