Van den Broeck out of Tirreno-Adriatico with knee injury

Jurgen van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) has had to call an end to his Tirreno-Adriatico ambitions on stage 2, after a crash with just 12 kilometres remaining.

The Belgian rider could be seen emerging from a ditch, along with his teammate Bart de Clercq, with a blooded knee. He managed to finish the stage, where he received eight stitches, but will not make the start on stage 3.

Directeur sportif Herman Frison says told Het Nieuwsblad that it was too early to asses the full extend of the damage to Van den Broeck’s knee. "It's a flesh wound that runs horizontally across the knee and, with the sutures, bending and stretching is impossible.

"There would be nothing in the first diagnosis concerning internally. But we will have certainty, tomorrow, when the swelling has gone down."

Van Den Broeck will now return to Belgium where he will undergo further examination in Herentals to see if there is any further damage. The knee in question, the right one, is the same one that Van den Broeck hurt at last year’s Tour de France. Examinations showed that last year he had "a partial crack of the posterior cruciate ligament, a partial crack of the medial ligament, an injury of the cartilage, a bone bruise and a bruise of the patella tendon."

The incident forced the Belgian off the bike until midway through October. He started his season at the Tour de San Luis, where he finished 24th. Provided the injury is not too serious, Van den Broeck’s preparations for the Tour de France in July should not be too disrupted.

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