After crashing early on at what has rapidly become known as an infamous stage six at the 2012 Tour de France, Rabobank's Maarten Wynants has revealed that he is on the mend but won't be released from his French hospital bed for at least another four days.
Wynant had already crashed - breaking two ribs and puncturing his left lung - well before the huge pile up 25km from the finish in Metz on Friday afternoon. Amazingly he rode on until the finish.
"I still have five days in the hospital," he told Sporza on Saturday.
"This is far from ideal but I'm glad the situation is under control. I was shocked when I heard that my left lung was only about half the capacity of my right one. I had noticed that something was wrong, but it's the Tour. You can't just step off, even though you get hardly any air.
"The pain is now gone. Yesterday the air between my lungs was removed. That was the cause of the pressure."
Wynant could not hide his disappointment at having to abandon the race and was also pessimistic about recovering in time to instead take on two potential late-summer targets, the Vuelta a Espana and the Eneco Tour.
"I'm sure I'll have four weeks on the sideline, but I have already looked at the calendar," he said. "It is difficult for me to make the Vuelta or the Eneco Tour. I hope everything recovers quickly, so I can ride again as soon as possible. It is a bad feeling to be out of action mid-season."
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