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Calmejane takes a week's rest after Tour de la Provence concussion

AG2R Citroen Team French Lilian Calmejane rides during a training day in Denia on January 21 2021 Photo by JOSE JORDAN STR AFP Photo by JOSE JORDANSTRAFP via Getty Images
Lilian Calmejane rides with his AG2R Citroën teammates during a team training camp in Spain (Image credit: Getty Images/Joe Jordan)

Lilian Calmejane is set for a week of rest after suffering head trauma and concussion in a crash on stage 3 of the Tour de la Provence, his AG2R Citroën team has announced.

Calmejane – a new addition to the team for 2021 – crashed out of the four-day race on Saturday's stage to Mont Ventoux, which was won by Iván Sosa (Ineos Grenadiers). The Frenchman suffered contusions to his right shoulder as well as road rash, in addition to his head injury.

In a statement released by the team, AG2R Citroën confirmed Calmejane's injuries, but could not say exactly when he would be able to return to racing.

"The victim of a crash on Saturday during the third stage of the Tour de la Provence, Lilian Calmejane, who suffered a slight head trauma with a major bruise on his face, must take a one-week rest period," the statement read.

"His return to racing will be decided by how quickly the contusion heals."

Last December, the UCI instituted a concussion protocol for use during races, including planned concussion symptom cards for quick diagnosis, training for non-medical staff, as well as recommended rest periods and stepwise assessments before returning to racing.

The move came months after ex-AG2R rider Romain Bardet suffered a concussion in a crash during stage 13 of the Tour de France. The Frenchman raced on for 90 kilometres after falling, and was later pulled from the race after a 'small haemorrhage' on his brain was discovered.

Calmejane's setback isn't the first for AG2R Citroën this season. Team leader Benoît Cosnefroy has been forced to delay the start of his season due to a knee injury. The 25-year-old was set to begin his campaign at Étoile de Bessèges but is now expected to return to racing in March ahead of his first targets of the year, the Ardennes Classics.

AG2R Citroën continue their season with Greg Van Avermaet, Nans Peters, Oliver Naesen and Ben O'Connor lining out at the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var, which gets underway on Friday.