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by Shane Stokes
October 13, 2017
Bennett takes third consecutive stage win, retains overall lead in Tour of Turkey; Bakelants facing emergency operation on Friday; Heiko Salzwedel sacked by British Cycling amid talk of rider revolt; American riders staying calm in Turkey despite visa and political tensions; Rowe joins WaowDeals Pro Cycling; Kroger inks deal with Team Virtu; Calendar announced for ‘landmark year’ for Haute Route Cycling Series; Shimano Dura-Ace R9100-P powermeter finally shipping, but still limited; Video: Chaves loses off-season adventures…but keeps smiling; Video: Introducing Egon Bernal; Video: Best Of 2017 – The Grand Tours; Video: 2018 Haute Route teaser
Following a potentially-lethal crash into a ravine during last Saturday’s Il Lombardia, Jan Bakelants is facing medical intervention on Friday to treat one of the spinal fractures he suffered. He fractured seven ribs, two dorsal vertebrae (D8, D10) and two lumbar vertebrae (L1 and L3) in the crash on the descent of the Muro di Sormano.
His Ag2r La Mondiale team gave an update as to his condition on Thursday. “Jan must undergo an emergency operation in Belgium to stabilize the fractures of the L3 vertebra,” it said. “On account of a hemothorax [a collection of blood in the space between the chest wall and the lung], among other things, it was unfortunately impossible to transfer him to Belgium in the days immediately following the crash.
“His condition has now stabilized enough to allow him to be transferred to Gasthuisberg Hospital in Leuven, Belgium in the afternoon of Thursday, October 12th. Yesterday, a medical team chartered by Mondial Assistance arrived in Como to assist him during this transfer back to Belgium. He should be operated on Friday, October 13th in Leuven by a specialist surgeon.”
Bakelants is a 31 year old Belgian who won a stage and wore the yellow jersey in the 2013 Tour de France. He also won the Giro del Piemonte and the Giro dell’Emilia in 2015. He was joined on Monday by his parents, his partner and his daughter, who will also travel back to Belgium.
“Jan was very touched by the many messages of support that he received, but cannot respond to at the moment,” said the team. “Jan and his family ask everyone, the public and the media, to respect their wish for quiet and privacy during these difficult times when the number one priority will be to allow Jan to return to the level of health that will allow him to resume his career.”