18 stitches sidelines rider for 10 days
BMC Racing Team’s doctor has said it’s too early to determine whether a crash on the Tour of Utah’s Stage two will damage the hopes of George Hincapie’s USPro title defense. Dr. Max Testa said the rider would be off the bike for at least 10 days as a wound that required 18 stitches heals.
The USPro Championships take place in Hincapie’s hometown of Greenville, South Carolina, in just four weeks time. Hincapie’s crash occurred when he swerved to avoid another rider on a flat, twisting section of road.
"I rode into a bit of gravel and my front wheel went out," Hincapie said. "Crashing is never a good thing. I'm definitely concerned with my knee and how much time I'm going to have to take off the bike. It's not a good time for that."
Hincapie told Cyclingnews prior to the stage that he’d like to continue racing for another 12 months before retiring. It would mean the US jersey would be on show in the peloton next year if he successfully defends his title.
"We'll monitor him closely [over] the next 24 hours and then make a plan for his recovery," Dr. Testa said. "We can't make a determination yet whether he'll be able to defend his title."
BMC Racing Team’s sport director John Lelangue said that his rider didn’t break any bones in the crash was the most important thing. "We'll see how it goes in the coming days and if he has the possibility to race the two ProTour races in Canada, just to get him two more racing days and more training," Lelangue said. "I hope to see him at 100 percent for nationals because it's a special race, he's the defending champion and he's at home."
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