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Laurens ten Dam
Rabobank back in the saddle despite facial injuries
The Rabobank team management has described Laurens ten Dam as “hard as rock” after he started the 15th stage of the Tour de France despite crashing and hurting his face in a high-speed crash during Saturday's stage to Plateau de Beille.
The 30-year-old finished Saturday's stage with a bloodied bandage wrapped around his head and nose. Last night he tweeted: “No fractures. Only future scars.”
On Sunday morning he compared his eight stitches to the 33 received by Johnny Hoogerland, saying: “Start. Still 25 fewer than Johnny.....”
Luuc Eisenga, the Rabobank communications manager posted a tweet with a quote from ten Dam saying: "You don't quit the Tour because of a thick lip."
Ten Dam crashed on the descent of the Col d'Agnes, doing a half-somersault over his handlebars to land face first in a ditch. He was taken to hospital after the finish, where it was found he had no fractures, only deep gashes to his nose and abrasions on his hands and back.
Despite all of that, he had a good night's sleep, the Rabobank team said, and after consultation with the medical staff and team management, it was decided that ten Dam would be allowed to start Sunday's stage. The team pointed out that they are monitoring his condition closely and will pull out of the race if necessary.