Owain Doull (Team Sky) has abandoned the BinckBank Tour after suffering a heavy crash in the final 40 kilometres of stage 5 and being diagnosed with a suspected concussion. Teammates Lukasz Wisniowski and Dylan van Baarle were also both caught up in the incident, but Doull was by far the worst affected.
Doull remounted his bike after the crash but complained of feeling "strange", and was immediately pulled from the race by the team's doctor. Further tests cleared him of any concussion, however. Doull was left disappointed, but believed that it was better to be safe than sorry.
"Always gutting not to finish a race but when it comes to concussion it's not worth it," Doull said later on Twitter.
Team doctor Richard Usher explained the incident further. "Owain crashed at around 50kph. He was initially assessed after the crash by the race doctor but within minutes of getting back on his bike he came to the team car feeling "very strange" and in shock. We immediately took him out of the race with a clear and suspected concussion," he said on the team website.
"He has been subsequently seen and assessed in hospital, and thankfully all his scans are clear and he is improving. He will undergo a graduated return to riding under the team's medical policy. He will be out of hospital tonight and we will keep a close eye on him overnight. If everything is OK he will go home tomorrow."
Doull's departure compounded a difficult day for Team Sky, with Diego Rosa also stepping off during the stage due to fatigue, while Chris Lawless didn't start the next stage after falling ill overnight.
Pantano out of Vuelta a España with toxoplasmosis
The Colombian had a blood test after pulling out sick of the recent Tour de Pologne, which revealed that he had become infected with the Toxoplasma parasite.
We repeated those exams this week, and they confirmed the diagnosis of acute toxoplasmosis," said Trek-Segafredo head physician Gaetano Daniele. "Unfortunately, this means that Jarlinson is definitely out for the Vuelta."
"To be honest, I'm going through a tough time right now," Pantano said in a team statement. "I'm so disappointed, but, at the same time, I'm relieved to know what the problem is, and why I was feeling so bad for a while. Now I have to focus on my recovery, and I hope it will be a fast one so that I can get back to racing as soon as possible and grab some results.
"I would like to take the opportunity to thank the team for all the support they have given me, in these difficult times," he said.
Van Hooydonck extends contract with Continuum Sports
BMC Racing's Nathan Van Hooydonck has extended his contract with Continuum Sports for another two years, and will be part of next season's as-yet-unnamed CCC-sponsored team, which is to be headed by Greg Van Avermaet.
Van Hooydonck graduated to the senior BMC squad last year, having come through the BMC Development Team.
"Since Nathan turned professional mid-way through the 2017 season, he has shown great potential in the Classics, and, with our focus on these races, Nathan will be able to learn from the best in the business, including Greg Van Avermaet," general manager Jim Ochowicz said in a statement.
As things stand, the new CCC team – essentially a merger of the current BMC Racing and Pro Continental-level CCC Sprandi Polkowice outfits – is built around current Olympic road race champion Van Avermaet's one-day Classics ambitions.
"Greg and I really get along, and I feel very loyal to him, so I couldn't imagine riding for another leader. That was the main reason I decided to stay in the team," said 22-year-old Van Hooydonck.
"I have always felt appreciated in the team and that is very important to me. I have a good relationship with my coach, Marco Pinotti, and the team is very professional, and one at which I can best develop as a rider.
"I would like to end this season well, and then, in 2019, be there for my leaders to support them whenever they need me," said the Belgian. "If there is a chance to go for a nice result myself, I will take it with both hands."
Trentin wears European champ's jersey ahead of debut
Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) has shown off his new European champion's kit before he debuts it at Sunday's EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg. Trentin took the European title in Glasgow a week ago, beating Belgium's Wout van Aert and Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel in a sprint from a breakaway.
Trentin posted a photo of himself in his new kit on Instagram. He has the standard jersey, with the graded blue stripes across the chest, decorated with his team sponsors. Unlike previous champion Alexander Kristoff, Trentin has opted for black shorts over matching white.
The Italian will be looking for his first victory in the jersey when he lines up at the one-day EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg, which he last rode in 2016.
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