Vansummeren fractured vertebra in diabolical Metz crash

It's been revealed that Johan Vansummeren completed the Tour de France while suffering from a cracked vertebra.

Much of the Garmin-Sharp team crashed on the stage to Metz on July 6 with Cyclingnews reporting at the time that the team bus resembled a "hospital". A huge crash 25 kilometres from the finish line left riders scattered all over the road. Teammates Ryder Hesjedal, Christian Vande Velde and Daniel Martin eventually finishing more than 13 minutes after stage winner Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) had crossed the line, with Vansummeren a further three minutes behind.

Vansummeren was taken to hospital for an injured shoulder at the time but further examinations on Tuesday have concluded that the Belgian's condition was far worse than originally thought.

Despite the injury, the 31-year-old winner of Paris-Roubaix lined up in the post-Tour criterium in Roeselare.

"I have to maintain condition and I've also finished the Tour despite the injury," Vansummeren told

A little longer gritting my teeth will not hurt. The next thing on my agenda is the Vuelta a Espana. Bit by bit I must now recover from my injury and hope to be there when the Vuelta begins with the team time trial in Pamplona on 18 August."


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