Kelderman ruled out of Tour de France with shoulder injury

Wilco Kelderman has been ruled out of the Tour de France after injuring his right shoulder in a crash during Sunday's Dutch national championships road race. The Dutchman had been due to line out in the Sunweb team for La Grande Boucle alongside Tom Dumoulin and Michael Matthews.

Kelderman had surgery to fix a broken right collarbone from a crash during Tirreno-Adriatico in March, and his crash on Sunday caused the plate in the collarbone to bend. Following scans on Monday, Team Sunweb confirmed that Kelderman will be unable to participate in the Tour.

"CT scans indicate that the plate mounted on his right collarbone is bent, which reduces functionality of the shoulder joint and a lot of pain," said team doctor Anko Boelens. "To start the Tour de France is no option. Additional check-ups will follow with international experts in this field, to determine the next steps and to decide if surgery is required. It's a complex injury with the history of injuries to the same shoulder and collarbone."

Kelderman had signalled his intention to ride the 2018 Tour with a view to chasing stage victories before leading Sunweb's general classification bid at the Vuelta a España. He placed 4th overall in last year's Vuelta.

The 27-year-old began his 2018 season with a fine second place overall at the Abu Dhabi Tour, but his spring campaign was curtailed by his crash on stage 5 of Tirreno-Adriatico. Kelderman recovered in time to line out at last month's Tour de Suisse, where 5th place overall was a firm indication of his pre-Tour de France form.

Kelderman proceeded to place third in the time trial at the Dutch championships, only to suffer a crash in Sunday's road race in Bergen op Zoom.

"I am gutted. At the moment the pain is really intense, making a Tour start simply impossible," Kelderman said. "It can't get much worse after the injuries I already faced in my recent career. I have to get over it once again and I will need time."

Kelderman had previously broken his right collarbone in a training crash in December 2014. The Dutchman also suffered ill fortune on last year's Giro d'Italia, when he was forced out with a broken finger after being caught up in a mass crash at the foot of the Blockhaus on stage 9.

Sunweb announced a 12-rider long list for the Tour in early June, but have yet to confirm their final 8-man selection.

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