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by Shane Stokes
October 17, 2017
Bakelants surgery successful: ‘The road to recovery will be long, but I can start it’ ; BMC Racing Team chasing late-season success in Tour of Guangxi; WorldTour winner: Cortina (Bahrain-Merida) takes Red Hook Crit debut in Milan; Ed Sheeran breaks arm in cycling accident, reportedly hit by a car; Prison sentence given to father of rider who deliberately caused others to crash; Hansen threatened with deportation from Europe; Siggaard signs contract for another year with Team Virtu; Watch live streaming of 2018 Tour de France presentation on Tuesday; Video: Cippo di Carpegna (Pantani’s Climb) with Davide Cassani – Cycling Inspiration & Education
Following surgery to help stabilize the spinal fractures he suffered in the recent Il Lombardia Classic, Jan Bakelants has said that he will not require a further intervention by surgeons. “2 days after surgery, it looks good, no extra intervention necessary,” he said via Twitter on Monday. “The road to recovery will be long, but I feel lucky I can start it.”
His Ag2r la Mondiale team subsequently issued a statement describing the operation carried out by Professor Bart Depreitere as a success. It said that he left the intensive care unit on Monday, October 16th, and will be able to return to his home at the end of this week. “It is much too early to begin discussing the date on which he can resume his sports activities,” it added.
Bakelants suffered what could have been a fatal crash into a ravine during the Italian race, falling on the descent of the Muro di Sormano. He fractured seven ribs, two dorsal vertebrae (D8, D10) and two lumbar vertebrae (L1 and L3).
Last Thursday his team said that he had been transferred to Gasthuisberg Hospital in Leuven, Belgium. “Jan must undergo an emergency operation in Belgium to stabilize the fractures of the L3 vertebra,” it said then. “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.”
The 31 year old Belgian 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.