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Terpstra out for three months after serious motor pacing crash

Niki Terpstra in action at the 2020 Vuelta a Andalucía - Ruta del Sol
Niki Terpstra in action at the 2020 Vuelta a Andalucía (Image credit: Getty Images)

Niki Terpstra's Total Direct Énergie team have confirmed that the Dutchman will be out of action for up to three months and so likely miss the Tour de France due to the serious injuries he sustained in a motor-pacing crash on Tuesday

According to a report by Dutch television channel NOS, Terpstra swerved to avoid geese while motor-pacing at speed; he then hit a rock and crashed. He was transported by helicopter to hospital where doctors confirmed he has a collapsed lung, a concussion, and fractured ribs and a collarbone.

"Unfortunately the rumours are true. Niki crashed hard today during a bike workout. He's in the hospital and will have to stay here for a few more days. He is not in mortal danger but will need time to recover from this," his wife Ramona Terpstra confirmed via social media a few hours after the crash on Tuesday.

Total Direct Énergie confirmed his injuries and the time he will need to recover.

"Niki suffered an accident on the highway yesterday during training; his heavy fall meant he lost consciousness," team doctor Hubert Long said. 

"He's suffering from a head trauma, a broken collarbone and a back contusion and a pneumothorax requires drainage. He is still in intensive care but he can go home in two or three days. For this type of significant trauma, the period of unavailability is 10 to 12 weeks."

Terpstra won Paris-Roubaix in 2014 and Tour of Flanders in 2018, both while racing for versions of the WorldTour QuickStep team. He stepped down to ProTeam level to join Total Direct Énergie for 2019 but experienced several setbacks with crashes and injuries. At the Tour of Flanders, he crashed and suffered severe concussion and he was later forced to abandon the Tour de France with a fractured scapula.

After spending the COVID-19 lockdown at home in the Netherlands, Terpstra was preparing for the rescheduled 2020 calendar with a focus on the rescheduled Tour de France, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. However with the Tour de France Grand Départ only 13 weeks away, Terpstra's race programme and goals could be compromised for second season.

The Total Direct Énergie team wished Terpstra a successful recovery.

"There is no doubt that this mental strength that characterizes him will help him overcome this new ordeal. We hope to see him again very soon to crush the pedals as he knows how to do it. Good luck champion," the team wrote in a message on its website.