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Boeckmans seriously injured in Vuelta a Espana crash

Kris Boeckmans on the podium at Nokere Koerse.

Kris Boeckmans on the podium at Nokere Koerse.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Lotto Soudal sprinter Kris Boeckmans is in a medically-induced coma tonight after sustaining serious injuries in a crash during stage 8 of the Vuelta a España on Saturday.

The Belgian was apparently taking a drink from his bidon when he hit a hole in the road and crashed hard.

The 28-year-old was taken to hospital in Murcia with severe facial trauma and fractures, a concussion, broken ribs and a punctured lung. He is expected to be kept in the coma for a few days.

The incident affected his teammates deeply. "I didn't want to leave boeckie behind before i saw him awake. I was crying like a child seeing him on the ground like this," his teammate Thomas De Gendt said on Twitter.

Boeckmans' crash set off a chain-reaction that also involved Tejay van Garderen (BMC), Daniel Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) all of whom abandoned the race.