Jurgen Van Den Broeck will stay in intensive care for two or three days as he recovers from his injuries after crashing out on a descent during Sunday’s ninth stage to Saint Flour.
The Omega Pharma-Lotto team leader fractured three ribs, his shoulder blade and also suffered from a collapsed lung. He initially tried to continue in the race but the pain was too great and doctors feared he had suffered a ruptured spleen or liver damage.
"Jurgen needs to stay two or three more days in intensive care," team doctor Els Lemmens told Belgian television. “We have to make sure that his breathing problems don’t get any worse. We were worried about his abdominal pain because we feared a ruptured spleen or liver but that has turned out not to be the case. Everything is under control now."
Vino undergoes surgery
Alexandre Vinokourov also crashed out of the Tour de France at the same time as Van den Broeck. Although he was helped back up on to the road, he had hit a tree at high speed and was diagnosed with a complex fracture to the head of his right femur.
He was immediately flown to Paris and underwent successful surgery overnight by Professor Yves Catonné. He will be joined by his wife today who was in Kazakhstan when the crash happened.
The fracture is expected to end Vinokourov’s season and most likely his career. He had hinted he may delay his planned retirement and take part in the London 2012 Olympics but that now seems unlikely for the 37-year-old Kazakhstani.