Boeckmans in induced coma after Vuelta a España crash, broken shoulder for van Garderen

by Shane Stokes


Lotto-Soudal rider Kris Boeckmans’ severe crash during stage eight of the Vuelta a España has led to a number of injuries and the decision to place him in an induced coma.

The Belgian’s fell heavily with just over 50 kilometres to go on the stage. He was one of many who hit the deck, but was the most seriously affected.

Teammate Tosh Van der Sande explained the reason why his fall had such a big effect. “Of course we are all thinking of Kris tonight,” he stated. “I was riding just behind him when it happened. He was drinking when he rode over a hole, tumbled over his handlebar and hit the ground very hard.”

Initially appearing to be motionless, he was treated at the scene by doctors and then taken to hospital. His team stated at that point that he was conscious and stable, but later revealed the full extent of his injuries.

Contacted by CyclingTips, a team spokesman elaborated on that.

“He will be in an induced coma for a few days and then we can see what will happen next,” he said. “Every 24 hours we will have a new update on his situation.

“He was able to speak with people around him after the crash but as the injuries and the pain is so much, it is better to keep him in an induced coma for a few days and then he will probably undergo surgeries.”

Asked if his situation was stable or if the conclusion could put him in any further danger, he said that he hoped that things will improve from this point.

“Normally it is stable but with injuries like that you have to watch the evolution. Things seem to be under control, but things like the lung condition will have to watched.”

Meanwhile the BMC Racing Team has updated the situation with Tejay van Garderen, its GC captain who also crashed out of the race in the same accident.

It said that he had suffered a broken right shoulder in the fall.

Teammate Peter Velits said the crash was unavoidable. “We were all around Tejay because we were close to the climb and the final circuit,” he explained. “We were trying to move up and suddenly it happened right in front of us. We did not have a chance to avoid it. That is cycling, but it is never nice to see crashes like this.”

Van Garderen was forced to drop out of the Tour de France last month while sitting third overall, with a respiratory infection making it impossible to continue.

Directeur sportif Yvon Ledanois, who also guided him in the French event, said that the withdrawal was a pity.

“Our team has lost a fundamental man. This Vuelta was an opportunity to do well for him and for the BMC Racing Team. I am sure he will come back stronger physically, and above all, mentally.”

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