The Belarusian crashed on the stage to Boulogne-sur-Mer and has spent the last 6 months recovering for the 2013 season. Up until that point he’d been an integral part of Sky’s stage racing success, helping the team to victories in the Volta ao Algarve, Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie, Bayern-Rundfahrt and the Criterium du Dauphine. His climbing skills, coupled with his ability to ride on the flats meant he was selected for the Tour as well.
“I remember riding and watching in front of me. There was a crash up ahead and I put out my left leg and slowed down. Then another rider arrived from behind much faster and hit my leg. I can remember the crash but then after that it was more shock. For a second I tried to get up but I knew it was not possible to ride,” Siutsou said on Sky’s team website.
The Sky rider was back on the turbo trainer by the end of August but the time off the bike wasn’t the only hurdle to overcome. Unable to put any force on his leg, Siutsou also had to recover his full range of motion and strengthen the muscles that had wasted way.