All is not lost for Koen de Kort who appears to be back on track for the spring classics after breaking his collarbone in a crash at the Tour of Qatar. He promptly returned to the Netherlands after the incident for further medical examinations with his team releasing the good news following his surgery. De Kort has already returned to training, albeit at a reduced capacity on the indoor trainer.
The Dutchman's injuries were the result of a high-speed fall near the completion of Stage 4 after de Kort and his Argos-Shimano teammates had been pulling hard on the front to set up Marcel Kittel for the stage win. After doing his job, de Kort drifted toward the rear of the peloton where the final nervous kilometres ended in a touch of wheels. De Kort fell at approximately 65km/h and while he was able to finish the stage, he did not start the next day.
"The surgery went well. I flew home Thursday night from Qatar and had the operation Friday morning," said de Kort. "I had to stay a night in the hospital and went home on Saturday to start the recovery process. I had quite a lot of pain the day after the operation, but since Sunday I've been doing well. I've started doing some indoor training already, so that is a good sign."
"I know it will be tight to be ready on time," he said, "but we will see how it develops. In the ideal scenario, I will be able to do a stage race before the classics."
While de Kort and his team were unable to launch Kittel to a stage win at the Tour of Qatar, he took solace in the sprinter's first victory of the season at the Tour of Oman - which also served as first in 2013 for the newly-graduated ProTeam. Argos-Shimano received a ProTeam license for 2013, moving up from its previous Professional Continental status held from 2005 through to 2012.
"I knew it would come together one of these days. In the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Qatar we saw already that things were getting better, and we knew that when everything fell into place we would be able to take the win."