Laurens ten Dam's crash early in Monday's queen stage of the Vuelta a Espana put an end not only to his Grand Tour, but also to his season. The Rabobank rider broke his left wrist in the crash.
Ten Dam will need at least four weeks to recover, according to team doctor Dion van Bommel. He was given a plaster cast and will have the wrist examined further upon his return to the Netherlands.
It was the third major crash for the 29-year-old this season. He cracked his pelvis at the Ruta del Sol in March. At the Tour de Suisse, he crashed on a descent and broke the same left wrist as well as sustaining two broken vertebrae, a broken chin and a concussion.
Teammate Grischa Niermann was also involved in the crash but was uninjured. “When I came around a tight left curve after about 30 km, there were a few men lying on the road and I had the choice of taking on the guard rail or running over my teammate Laurens ten Dam,” he wrote on Radsport-News.com.
He chose the guard rail, and while his bike stopped there, the German didn't. He flew head first over the side. Fortunately it was only a few metres, although landing in a thorny bush left him with some scratches.
“When I climbed back up to road, I had laugh at myself a bit, because it surely looked funny to see me climbing up out of nowhere,” he continued. “But I sure stopped laughing when I saw Laurens lying on the asphalt, screaming with pain.”