Tour de France: Theuns fractures vertebra in time trial crash

Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) fractured his T12 vertebra after crashing during the stage 13 time trial at the Tour de France. According to a team press release, he will require surgery to correct the unstable break. 

The 37km, beginning with at Bourg-Saint-Andéol and ending in La Caverne du Pont-d'Arc, routed along the Gorges de l'Ardèche on the banks of Rhône.

There were strong gusts of wind reported to be as strong as 40 to 50 km/h, and many riders decided against using disc wheels for fear of losing control of their bikes. There was also a technical, tricky, descent along the Col du Serre into the Gorges de l'Ardèche.

Theuns later said in a team press release that the wind picked him up on route, and he appeared to have gone over his handlebars through a hairpin turn and landed on the back of his neck and head in a roadside ditch. He was immediately taken to hospital nearby following the accident.

"I am very disappointed because I was feeling good and was going okay and now suddenly everything comes to a stop. The pain is not bad at the moment, but I am tensed to not move my body and it's very uncomfortable. The pain is OK, but I am a little nervous about the operation.

"I was feeling good in the TT, having a good tempo, and my legs felt good. I was planning to ease back more at the end because I had made a good tempo until then. I came into a downhill corner around kilometre 23 and the wind grabbed my wheel and I had to correct a little and went off the road. I thought I had it, but then hit a tree trunk on the ground and went over my bike and landed quite hard. I directly felt that my back was not OK."

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