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Pro cyclist misses opening classics due to “quite extensive damage to private parts” following dog attack

“The pain has become somewhat bearable,” says Q36.5 rider Frederik Frison, who required surgery after being bitten by an acquaintance’s family pet

Unfortunately for Frederik Frison, being forced to watch Visma-Lease a Bike’s classics dominance from the comfort of his sofa wasn’t the most painful experience of the Belgian pro’s weekend.

Because, as Jan Tratnik and Wout van Aert secured a second successive perfect Opening Weekend for the Dutch squad, Q36.5 rider Frison – one of his new team’s most important classics riders – was at home nursing a rather sensitive injury, after a recent dog attack left him with “quite extensive damage” to his testicles and requiring surgery.

Frison, who finished fourth at Gent-Wevelgem and Brugge-De Panne last year while riding for Lotto Dstny, the team he represented throughout his nine-year pro career before joining Q36.5 in January, was hoping for a strong start to his classics campaign at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne with the Swiss-registered squad, after his season debut at the Ruta del Sol was cut to a measly five kilometres’ worth of time trialling due to the farmers’ protests currently taking place throughout Europe.

Frederik Frison, 2022 Paris-Nice (A.S.O./Alex Broadway)

(A.S.O./Alex Broadway)

However, on Friday Q36.5 Pro Cycling announced that the 31-year-old would miss Opening Weekend after sustaining an “injury in an unfortunate incident with a dog while collecting his daughter earlier this week”.

“He is currently receiving the required medical treatment, and we are optimistic about his recovery,” the team continued. “Our thoughts are with Frederik and his family during this time… [We] look forward to seeing him back in action in the coming weeks.”

Speaking to Het Nieuwsblad, Frison expanded on the incident, which took place on Wednesday, and confirmed that he received surgery later that evening.

“I was visiting acquaintances in the late afternoon when it happened,” he told the Belgian newspaper.

“The moment I walked in, I was suddenly attacked by the family dog, a Weimaraner, with painful consequences. After all, the dog bit me in the private parts. And without going into detail: the damage is quite extensive.

“The hand is also sewn in two places. That’s because I wanted to defend myself and tried to push the dog away. Since [yesterday] the pain has become somewhat bearable. Although sitting and standing up is still painful.”

> Man whose dog bit cyclist and “pulled her off bike” handed suspended sentence and ordered to pay almost £2,000

“I had surgery straight away on Wednesday evening,” Frison continued. “Would you please mention urologist Philip Den Hollander of the Sint-Dimpna Hospital in Geel, because I owe a lot to his good care. He guided me very well through the operation process. And now during recovery.

“He knows that a cyclist has to sit on a saddle for a long time and therefore a full recovery is very important. The fact that he immediately took care of me can only contribute to this.”

The somewhat philosophical Belgian classics rider added that watching Omloop and the first cobbled climbs of the season from home “wasn’t much fun”, but “that’s the way it is”.

> Pro cyclist left with multiple injuries after training ride collision with dog

While Frison’s toe-curling encounter with a friend’s dog occurred off the bike, he isn’t the first pro cyclist to be seriously injured due to canine-related misfortune in recent years.

In 2020, AG2R La Mondiale’s Mikaël Cherel suffered a broken collarbone, collapsed lung, and two broken ribs after colliding with a dog that had escaped from its owner during a training ride.

“Of course, I can’t blame the dog that I crashed into after it tried to cross the road right in front of me,” Cherel wrote on Instagram after the incident.

“Neither can I blame the lady walking along the seafront from whom the dog escaped – although I can be annoyed about her act of cowardice, taking the opportunity to make her escape while I was left lying on the ground.”

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
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There is clearly a joke to be made here about helmet protection but I certainly wouldn't be so puerile as to do so…

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