Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) will not take the start of stage 6 of the Tour de France. The Belgian general classification contender didn’t recover enough from the injuries sustained during the bunch sprint crash at the end of stage 5 in Marseille. The right knee injury ended up being worse than first thought, and has prevented Van den Broeck from getting on his bike in Aix-en-Provence on Thursday.
Team doctor Jan Mathieu explained why it was impossible for Van den Broeck to continue the race.
“This morning there was a lot of fluid in his knee. We removed 85cc out of the joint which indicates an internal injury. Jurgen tried to get on the rollers but that didn’t work out. Further medicals in Belgium will reveal the severity of the injury,” Mathieu said.
For Van den Broeck and the Lotto-Belisol team, it’s the second time in four years that a crash has ended their GC ambitions. In 2011, Van den Broeck was part of a big crash on the descent of the Col du Perthus, as team manager Marc Sergeant recalled.
“This is a huge blow for the team. Jurgen has been working extremely hard towards his main target and for the second time in four years he has to abandon the race after a crash,” Sergeant said. “We have to await the medicals before rescheduling the remainder of Jurgen’s season.”
Despite the departure Van den Broeck’s departure, the Belgian team still has sprinter André Greipel to shine in the 2013 Tour de France. “Often we’re asked if it’s realistic to start the Tour with two leaders. Our goal to get stage wins with André remains intact. In addition other riders will get the chance to get into the picture.”