Lotto Soudal riders hit by car while training in Spain

Thomas De Gendt and Gert Dockx to undergo hospital tests to assess injuries

Lotto-Soudal riders Thomas De Gendt and Gert Dockx were taken to hospital for checks yesterday after being struck by a car near Calpe, southeastern Spain, where they had been training.

In a statement published on the Belgian WorldTour team’s website on Friday, Docx, aged 27, said: “We were riding next to each other, Thomas on the left and I on the right.

“The car came from the right and appeared to be stopping. In a fraction of a second I thought the front of the car was quite far on the main road, but before we realised we got hit by the car.

Because the car came from the right especially my right leg was hit by the bumper. I can lean on the leg, but walking is difficult.

“I hope I don’t have any fractures, but further tests will have to determine that,” the Belgian rider added.

De Gendt, who in 2011 finished third overall in the Giro d’Italia after a storming solo win on the Passo dello Stelvio on the penultimate day, said: “I mainly have a sore neck, back, wrist and fingers. I think that thanks to our helmet we don’t have a head injury.

“I hope I don’t have any severe fractures, but further tests are needed to conclude that. Our bikes are broken, but we were lucky after all, it could have been much worse.

“We were riding on the main road, so that the car – coming from a side street – should have stopped.

“The riders of Vastgoedservice are staying in the same hotel as us. Kevin Hulsmans, sports director of Vastgoedservice, took care of us and took us to hospital, we are grateful for that.”

De Gendt, aged 29, also posted a picture to Instagram of his cycle helmet showing the damage it had sustained.

 

My helmet saved me from worse injuries @lazersport

A photo posted by Thomas De Gendt (@degendtthomas) on

Lotto Soudal team doctor Servaas Bingé commented: “I talked to the doctor at the hospital in Calpe who did the first examinations. The injuries of Thomas and Gert are not life threatening.

“Because of the limited options for further tests at the hospital over there the question was if both riders are well enough to be transferred to Belgium.

“That is the case, so Thomas and Gert will soon be coming back to Belgium for further examinations. Afterwards we’ll be able to tell how severe the injuries are and how long the riders have to remain out of competition.

“They definitely have bruises and abrasions, but I can’t rule out the possibility that they have fractures as well.”

As yet, there has been no update on the riders’ condition on the team website.

The news comes just four weeks after six members of the Giant-Alpecin team were hospitalised when they were struck head-on by a British motorist driving on the wrong side of the road.

That incident happened near Manises, around an hour and a half’s drive up the coast from the location of yesterday’s crash.

The riders included Germany’s John Degenkolb, who will be out for around three months and misses the chance to defend the Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix winner titles he won last year.

> Degenkolb out for three months after training crash

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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