Vermote to skip the Classics after Milan-San Remo crash

Etixx-QuickStep rider undergoes surgery on left knee

Julien Vermote (Etixx-QuickStep) will have to skip his Classics campaign due to an injury sustained in a crash at Milan-San Remo on Saturday. Vermote underwent surgery after the race at the H.-Hartziekenhuis clinic in Roeselare to correct a wound to his left knee.

Following a successful surgery, Vermote returned home and the team stated in a press release that he could resume training after a few days of recovery, but noted that his return to racing was not confirmed.

"I would like to thank to the medical staff of the race, the hospital of San Remo, my team that scheduled the surgery immediately and doctor Vuylsteke for the professionalism and for the time they've dedicated to me," Vermote stated on Sunday.

"I wasn't lucky yesterday, as I crashed two times. The first incident occurred before the 'Capi', but I managed to come back in the peloton. The second time I crashed between Capo Berta and La Cipressa. I couldn't avoid it and I was on the ground before I knew it. I went down on my knee and I immediately felt that something was wrong and I had to stop. From that moment, the team did a great effort to help me fly back to Belgium and undergo surgery. Now I want to recover and return on my bike as fast as possible."

Doctors confirmed Monday that Vermote would not be able to compete in the Classics because of the nature of his injury. Upon a follow-up visit at the hospital, doctors informed Vermote that he also has a small muscle tear on the vastus lateralis of his left quadriceps. He will need eight to nine days to recover before he can continue training.

"It's a tough moment for me," Vermote said. "Everybody knows how much I love the Classics, which this year I am forced to watch on TV. After riding E3 Harelbeke and Driedaagse van De Panne last season, this year I was on the list for E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem and Tour of Flanders, which came as a reward for the hard work of the past months.

"It's a pity that I won't have the possibility to ride them, but the situation is as it is. Still, Etixx – Quick-Step has a strong squad for these races and I will support my teammates. The positive thing is that the recovery is going into the right direction. After I will return to training, I will discuss with the staff to see how's my schedule going to change and in what races I'll go."

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