Steegmans in doubt for home Tour

Belgian suffers fractured rib in Picardie crash

A crash that occurred on the second stage of the Tour de Picardie has brought a premature end to the race of sprinter Gert Steegmans (Quickstep).

The powerful Belgian was unable to start Sunday's third and final stage with x-rays revealing a fracture to his seventh left rib.

The crash brought a large portion of the peloton to a halt on Saturday, on the downhill run into Chateau-Thierry, around 15 kilometres from the stage finish. The incident also took out Christian Knees, CJ Sutton, Simon Gerrans and Edvald Boasson Hagen from Sky Procycling. Knees and Gerrans failed to make it to the start of stage 3.

"In a downhill stretch some riders fell on the left, creating a domino effect that also took down riders on the right side of the road," Steegmans explained.

"To avoid one of them I ended up off road, in the middle of a forest, and I couldn't avoid a tree. It could have been worse. Now I'll take it easy for three days and then I'll try to get back on a bike. Normally everything should work out in a few days."

Steegmans' participation in the Tour of Belgium, which beginning May 25, will depend on how his injury evolves clinically.


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