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by Shane Stokes
October 10, 2015
Photography by Cor Vos
He was second on stage one of the Abu Dhabi Tour and started day two in the green jersey, but Tom Boonen’s goal of adding to his recent victory in the Munsterland Giro unravelled when he hit the deck on Friday.
The Belgian rider fell shortly after the first intermediate sprint at the Yas Marina Circuit, which came approximately 55 kilometres into the 130 kilometre stage.
Boonen was left motionless on the ground, but eventually was helped up and transported away in an ambulance. His Etixx – Quick-Step team later issued an update as to his condition.
“Immediate hospital examination of Tom Boonen underlined a left temporal bone fracture,” it said, referring to a bone situated in the ear area of the skull.
“Boonen, who lost consciousness for a short moment immediately after the crash, is now conscious and lucid. He will remain in the hospital overnight under observation.”
The team added that further examinations will be carried out on Saturday and, at that point, an update will be released.
The team thanked both the medical staff of the race organisers RCS Sport plus the staff in the Sheikh Khalifa hospital.
MTN Qhubeka rider Theo Bos was also caught up in the same crash. He fell heavily on his left side and left the race as a result.
According to the team’s Head of Performance Jens Zemke, Bos suffered deep wounds that needed immediate treatment.
Another rider from the team, Songezo Jim, also fell at the same time. He had started the stage in the white jersey of best young rider. Fortunately he was able to continue on and to finish.