Roelandts set back by neurological problem

Since his crash at the Tour Down Under in January, where he fractured a neck vertebra, Jurgen Roelandts had hoped to come back to racing at Tirreno-Adriatico. His fracture was healing well, but last weekend the Lotto-Belisol rider experienced some dizziness and after consultation with his doctors was admitted to Aalst hospital on Monday.

It appears a neurological problem now causes a further setback. "There is a complete closure of one of the bruised blood vessels. This led to a blood deficiency in parts of the cerebellum. Jurgen will be under observation for 72 hours," the team stated. "On Thursday, his rehabilitation period and his return on the bike will be clearer."

The closing of the blood vessel seems to be another direct consequence of Roelandts' crash in Australia. Fortunately, the prognosis is not overly negative. "Jurgen still has some double vision and still feels somewhat dizzy, but there is nothing more. His language faculty, for which the cerebellum is important, is not harmed," explained team doctor Jan Mathieu to Sporza.

Roelandts, who was scheduled to travel to Portugal for a training camp on Monday, will thus remain in hospital until Thursday at least. "His fracture has healed well, but now we're facing a different problem," Mathieu added. "I think we can scrap his spring season. The only thing that matters now is his health, more important than his racing career. There will be enough Tours of Flanders in the future."

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