Ramon Sinkeldam has described the moment a car, driving on the wrong side of the road, ploughed into a group of Giant-Alpecin riders on a training ride in Calpe on Saturday, leaving several injured. The Dutch rider also revealed that hospital tests carried out on Monday showed he had sustained a fracture to his scapula, or shoulder blade.
Speaking to NOS, Sinkeldam recalled the panic and clamour in the bunch as they saw the car coming at them head-on, and he said he felt lucky that he lost consciousness and didn't have to witness the carnage of the aftermath.
"A car came straight at us and the group panicked. There was a lot of shouting, and after that I don't remember anything for a good while," he said.
"The worst thing was talking to everyone else - seeing them so emotional. Maybe I'm lucky not to have experienced it all while unconscious, not to have seen the others lying on the ground. Because you look at this battlefield and you see six people from your team, your family, on the ground and barely moving, it's very affecting. Luckily we are all out of danger."
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Sinkeldam was one of six riders to be rushed to hospital, along with John Degenkolb, Warren Barguil, Chad Haga, Fredrik Ludvigsson, and Max Walscheid. Haga, who was airlifted to hospital with neck and facial injuries, and Degenkolb, whose finger had been almost entirely severed, were the most seriously injured, and remain in hospital.
Sinkeldam was thought to be among the least severely affected but further hospital tests on Monday revealed he had fractured his scapula, though the injury would not require surgery.
Messages last days were a bit optimistic, tests in the hospital today has shown a broken scapula, shoulder blade. No surgery needed though— Ramon Sinkeldam (@RSinkeldam) January 25, 2016
Giant-Alpecin team manager Iwan Spekenbrink told Cyclingnews that his team would come through this accident with a strengthened team spirit, but admitted that it represents a huge blow from a racing standpoint.
“We know that we will be set back for some months with the team in terms of sport but that’s the second priority," he said, pointing to the fact that his first concern was for the health of his riders.
“In the coming days we’ll start working on re-planning things but it will take some time before we’re at our full strength again. We have a strong spirit and we’ll get out of this stronger."