The Dutchman had gone into Paris-Nice as co-leader with Sergio Henao. Poels won the stage 4 individual time trial, which moved him from 17th to second in GC, only 15 seconds behind race leader Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana). Only two stages later, however, he crashed on a high-speed descent, leaving the race with the fractured collarbone, cuts to his left knee and chest trauma.
He flew to England where he underwent surgery, and now has started his training again. "The operation went well and now I'm back on the bike," he tweeted, along with a photo of himself on the trainer indoors.
The 30-year-old is said to be aiming to join the team for altitude training on Tenerife later this month and ride Amstel Gold. Poels had been foreseen as a back-up to Chris Froome in the Giro d’Italia, and had said he would be prepared to serve as team leader should Froome’s salbutamol case lead to a ban.
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