The Belgian crashed heavily on the first stage of the race the end of March, suffering a concussion with a hard blow to the head. He lost a tooth and had a wound above his right eye. After the crash he rode the Tour of Flanders and did not finish Paris-Roubaix, which was his last race this season.
When he goes out on his bike, “I'm back after two hours, guaranteed. With a splitting headache,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “I can ride but a recreational cyclist wouldn't have any problem keeping up with me. I can't go on. Not with intensive training.”
Scans taken at the time of the accident showed no damage, and that continues to be the case. "The good news: there is not an injury. There have been all kinds of brain scans done, and there is no permanent damage. But from the EEC-scans show that I still have the after-effects of a concussion. How long that will last, I do not know. "
It is not the first serious crash for the 33-year-old , and he is concerned as to how his new team will take it. “I really wanted to prove myself,” he said, adding that it “is no fun” to call the team management “to say I have a headache. That sounds so strange for a rider. A broken leg or a torn muscle, which you can at least see. Headache, that's so ... You can't prove it. "
His contract with the Russian team runs through 2012, but he is worried about what might happened if he is unable to race. Still his priority is “to sort out my body. Period.”