Paulissen injured in training race

Belgian mountain-biker Roel Paulissen, riding for Giant Racing Team, injured his hand seriously in last week's E1 Bundesliga race (won by Fredrik Kessiakoff, Cannondale-Vredestein) in Heubach, Germany.

Paulissen was sitting second position in the lead group when he punctured his tire. While he was fixing it, some others competitors overtook him so once back on the bike, Paulissen hastened to make up ground in order to chase them down. He went too fast over a metal bridge, his front wheel slipped away. He crashed and got stuck with his little finger from this left hand in a hole of one of the metal plates the bridge was made of. With the speed Paulissen had, the finger was pinched and tail and tip came cut off.

Paulissen was immediately taken to the closest hospital where he had to have several stitches. With an infection likely, the doctor explained to Roel that amputation of the finger is a possibility.

"Let's hope nothing worse is going to happen," Paulissen said after the race. "When I saw my finger right after the crash, and cyclists are used to bad crashes and injuries, I almost had to vomit. It hurts like hell. But what hurts most is that there is the first of three World Cups in a row in Madrid taking place. I am - or was before that crash - in really good shape and the course in Madrid fits me well." It is unknown whether Paulissen will be able to start the MAdrid World Cup but he said after the accident that he would focus all his attention on being ready.

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