Dylan van Baarle has been forced to end his season early after tests revealed he suffered a fractured pelvis as a result of a finish-line crash with a member of the race organisation at the Vuelta a Espana. Van Baarle will miss the World Championships, where he was set to contest the time trial. Jos van Emden of the LottoNL-Jumbo team will take van Baarle's place in the time trial.
The Team Sky rider will now have a longer than expected off-season and said that he’s already turned his focus to the 2019 season.
"It is obviously not the way I wanted to end the season, but I’m trying to be positive and instead look ahead. My focus turns towards next season and soon I'll hopefully be both free of the pain and of the injury, so I can get ready for next year,” Van Baarle said in a team press release.
Van Baarle was one of several riders that crashed just beyond the finish line of stage 12 when a race official stepped into the path of the oncoming riders. The Dutchman had just finished second in a sprint to AG2R La Mondiale's Alexandre Geniez when the incident happened. Geniez was the first to collide with the official and was saved from potentially worse injuries when a police officer caught him before he hit the tarmac.
Van Baarle was not as fortunate as Geniez and he hit the official full-on, which sent him somersaulting over his bike and onto the ground. Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing) and Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida) were also caught up in the crash, but avoided falling. Despite being in a lot of pain following the stage, initial examinations did not reveal any broken bones and Van Baarle started the next day’s stage.
However he did not start stage 14 and subsequent tests have since shown that he had a fracture in his pelvis. The injury will require complete rest for Van Baarle before he can start training again, thus forcing him to miss the rest of his 2018 race programme.
“Dylan had a scan last night and another one repeated this morning. It confirmed a fracture in the right side of his pelvis, above the hip joint,” explained Team Sky doctor Neil Heron. “This will require a period of complete rest over the next few weeks and then we will start to build up the strength in the leg and then reintroduce cycling activities. Unfortunately for Dylan, this means his season is over."