Christian Knees of Team Milram abandoned the Eneco Tour Saturday after a crash sent him to hospital. The German road champion ended up with 15 stitches around his right eye.
“Two riders tangled right in front of me and forced me head first into a traffic island. In the crash I received a lot of cuts around my eye and I had to get 15 stitches,” he said. “Our doctor says that I can be back on the bike in three days.”
Knees, 29, had gone into Saturday's stage in seventh place, only 1:37 behind leader Tony Martin of HTC-Columbia, and was looking to move up in the standings.
"Christian was our best rider in the ProTour stage race and was in a promising position in the Top Ten overall,” said Milram Directeur Sportif Ralf Grabsch. “This is a hard blow for us. We hope that Christian is back on his feet quickly and we must now make the best of the situation at the Eneco Tour.“
Milram is losing its title sponsor at the end of this year. Knees has not yet announced where he will ride in 2011.