Milram will have to do without sprinter Wim Stroetinga for several weeks after the Dutch rider suffered a complicated fracture of his right hand at the GP Denain, earlier this week. It is the third major injury for the team this season.
The 24-year-old was one of four Milram riders who went down in a crash in the finale of the GP Denain on Thursday. “The crash couldn't be predicted. We have a good sprint train built up and were in an optimal position for the closing sprint. All of a sudden there was a sideways jerk through the field and it caught us,“ said Milram directeur sportif Jochen Hahn
The fracture was confirmed Friday at a hospital in Amstelveen, Netherlands. Stroetinga will undergo surgery on Wednesday.
The crash happened about 250 metres before the finish line. “Five riders went down, including four from our team. It was quite a crash. Wim de Vocht lost two teeth, Roger Kluge hurt his back. Artur Gajek had been in a crash earlier and had to abandon. That was not a good day for our team today,“ continued Hahn.
Earlier this season, Milram lost sprinter Gerald Ciolek when he suffered multiple fractures in a crash at the third stage of the Tour of Qatar. He is expected to return to racing at the Tour of Romandie. Fabian Wegmann broke his collarbone in Tirreno-Adriatico and will ride again for the first time Sunday in the Amstel Gold Race.