Christian Vande Velde (Garmin Sharp) has been sidelined again from racing after crashing out of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya - just three days since his return to competition following a six-month suspension.
Vande Velde suffered a hand injury after crashing during the 180.1km queen stage at Catalunya and was taken to hospital for x-rays and further diagnosis.
"Christian crashed out of today's stage of Catalunya, suffering an injury to his hand. He is currently undergoing x-rays. We will update you as we have more information," read a team statement.
A fracture to his hand was found following x-rays with Vande Velde almost certain to undergo surgery in the coming days.
"Christian Vande Velde clipped a motorcycle today at the Volta Catalunya. He suffered a fracture to his 3rd metacarpal and will see a hand surgeon tomorrow, where he will most likely undergo surgery," said an updated team release.
The 36-year-old had been joined at the Spanish race with fellow riders Tom Danielson and David Zabriske, who were also handed six-month bans following their links to the USADA investigation into systematic doping at the US Postal and Discovery Channel teams.
Vande Velde had spoken to ESPN shortly before making his return to competition stating that "he felt compelled to come back and show that I'm still proud of what I've done on this team and lead by example". However, depending on the outcome following surgery, Vande Velde will have to wait a little while before making his comeback once again.
The injury of Vande Velde is just name added to the injured Garmin Sharp list after Jack Bauer sustained a concussion at Dwars door Vlaanderen. Bauer lost consciousness and was seen lying motionless on the side of the road for some time until a team official came and un-clipped his feet from his pedals. Bauer is reportedly doing well after his crash and his being monitored by the team's medical staff.
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