Robert Gesink (Rabobank), one of the favourites for Tour of Lombardy victory this coming weekend, has had to withdraw from the race. His team announced on Monday that Gesink was returning to the Netherlands as his father is in hospital after a riding accident.
On Saturday, Gesink won the GP Emilia for the second year in a row, marking him out as a serious contender to win the season's final classic on Saturday. However, his father crashed seriously in the Bart Brentjens Classic mountain bike race in the Netherlands on Sunday, and is in hospital in Maastricht. “After Gesink had been informed of the incident, he decided to return to the Netherlands directly from Italy,” a Rabobank statement said.
On Monday morning Gesink decided to remain in the Netherlands and not to return to Italy for the race next weekend.
It was not known how the crash happened. Gesink's father was found in a field by a friend, and was taken by helicopter to hospital. Rabobank directeur sportif Frans Maassen told the Dagblad de Limburger that the senior Gesink's condition was “very serious.”
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