Wout Poels hopes to be coming home from hospital in the next few days. The Vacansoleil-DCM rider was the most serous injured in a crash on the Tour de France's sixth stage to Metz. He is not expected to return to racing again this season.
Poels, 24, suffered a ruptured kidney and spleen, a bruised lung and three broken ribs. He was in intensive care in hospitals in both France and the Netherlands.
“Normally I will go home next week,” he said on the team's website. “The last few days I can get out of bed occasionally and may soon be able to continue my recovery at home.”
He still has a long way to go, though. “I understand that my damaged kidney functions at about 75% and we have to wait and see whether it will completely recover. To help it recover, my bladder is emptied artificially, to give the kidney a rest.
“I don't hear as much about my spleen and my ribs should soon fully heal. My ribs hurt when I stand up, for example, but that is getting better.”
From here on, he needs mainly peace and quiet. “I will be in good hands at home and can have my peace and continue to work on my recovery. I am pleased with the good wishes, but I hope the fans and the media respect that I mostly need rest.”
Poels has been with the Dutch team since 2009. This season he won the best young rider ranking at the Tour of Luxembourg and won a stage on his way to finishing second overall. He was third in the Vuelta a Murcia and eighth overal in Tirreno-Adriatico, where he also won the best young rider title.