Laurens ten Dam was seriously injured in a crash in the second stage of the Tour de Suisse, and will miss the Tour de France. The Rabobank rider suffered two broken vertebrae, a fractured wrist and chin, and a severe concussion.
The 29-year-old was taken to hospital in Sion, Switzerland, after crashing on the final descent of Sunday's stage. He will return to the Netherlands on Tuesday, the team said Monday afternoon.
Ten Dam had been named in Rabobank’s Tour de France squad. His place will now be taken by one of the reserves, Peter Weening or Bram Tankink. Team doctor Dion van Bommel, who was with ten Dam, said, “I more or less agreed with Laurens that he will ride the Vuelta a Espana.”
“He will have many painkillers. Laurens will have to lie completely flat for one week. On Monday I will go to the hospital and decide with the doctors how and when he can go home. The recovery will take some time, but the Vuelta should be feasible,” van Bommel said on the team’s website.
Ten Dam Twittered that this was the, “biggest disappointment in my career so far. Trained whole year for Tour start in my home country.”
Mollema angry, Martens goes home
Ten Dam's teammate Bauke Mollema got a 10-second penalty in the same stage, which he called “really ridiculous.” He dropped form ninth overall to 23rd.
“At first I had no clue why. But when I asked the jury they told me I held a bidon too long,” he wrote on his website. “That is absolute nonsense! At the top of the long climb I had to get some clothes from the car, I also took one bidon but really not for long.
“If they give me a time penalty for that they should give a time penalty for almost everybody who gets a bidon from the car. Also they should have sent a top sprinter home who hung from a car for a really long time!"
Rabobank did have some good news yesterday, as Paul Martens was able to leave hospital and return home. The German suffered serious injuries in the first stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, breaking several ribs and damaging his kidney.
“I don't know how long I will have to make a pause,” he told Radsport-News.com, adding that he would have to wait for the results of additional tests. “The training-free time will probably be about four weeks.”