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Knee injury rules Terpstra out of Dutch title defense

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Niki Terpstra (Etixx-Quick Step)

Niki Terpstra (Etixx-Quick Step) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Niki Terpstra (Etixx-Quickstep)

Niki Terpstra (Etixx-Quickstep) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Niki Terpstra (Etixx-QuickStep) leads Dimitri Claeys (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) in the early break.

Niki Terpstra (Etixx-QuickStep) leads Dimitri Claeys (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) in the early break. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Niki Terpstra and Mark Cavendish shake hands at sign on

Niki Terpstra and Mark Cavendish shake hands at sign on (Image credit: Cyclingnews)

Three-time Dutch national champion Niki Terpstra will not be able to try for a fourth because of a knee injury sustained during the warm up for the Ster ZLM Toer. The Etixx-Quickstep rider had to abandon that race on stage 2 due to pain, and examinations showed an injury to his patella.

According to a team press release, Terpstra hit his knee on the handrail of the bus on the way to warm up for the prologue time trial. He finished 7th in the prologue, just eight seconds off the race lead of compatriot Jos van Emden (LottoNl-Jumbo), but then dropped out of the second stage.

He faces two weeks off the bike to recover, much to his frustration.

"I can't find the words to express how disappointed I am," Terpstra said. "It's a stupid accident, but this kind of thing happens, so that's life. I'm sad and frustrated, because the legs were there and I was prepared to defend my jersey.

"Truth being told, this year's course at the Nationals is suited to the sprinters, but in a one-day race you can never know what will happen, so I was ready to play my card. Instead of being part of the race, I'll now watch it on the TV, but once I will return to racing, I'll try to make up for this and be again at my best."