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by Shane Stokes
October 24, 2017
Dylan Groenewegen wins stage 5 of the Tour of Guangxi, Tim Wellens holds overall lead; Malseed celebrating Subaru National Road Series triumph; Pooley completes Taiwan KOM Challenge double, Nibali wins men’s race; Dutch Sprinter Kirsten Wild Signs with Wiggle High5; Concussion foils Bahrain-Merida’s ambitions in Tour of Guangxi; Wiggle moves to further constrict online market with purchase of rival; Video: Velon’s view of stage 5 of the Tour of Guangxi; Video: Worldcup cyclocross Koksijde 2017; Video: Taking a ride with one of Colombia’s top cyclists
Having started the event as Bahrain-Merida’s designated GC leader, Janez Brajkovic’s ambitions in the Tour of Guangxi officially ended when he crashed Sunday and was a non-starter on Monday’s fifth stage of the race. The Slovenian rider hit his head in a fall on Sunday and limped in over nine minutes back.
Health concerns meant that team doctor Luca Pollastri and others decided that he should not continue in the event. “Brajkovic yesterday, during the crash, he had a cerebral concussion. So, to prevent any more important injury, we decide today to take him out of the competition because a second crash could be really dangerous for him,” he said prior to the stage start.
“It’s not his decision, because he would like to start. It’s just for prevention. Now he feels good, there’s no big problem, but after concussion like that, the best thing is to rest.”
Some teams have been criticised for not stopping riders with head injuries from racing. Directeur sportif Philippe Mauduit was clear it was the right thing to do. “For us, it’s a medical decision and we have to respect that. Cycling and racing is our goal when you come to a race, and it’s the same we focus on,” he said. “But, in the end, the most important is the health of the riders.
“Our medical staff made the decision today that after the crash of yesterday, Jani cannot start because he had a cerebral concussion yesterday. So it’s better for him to rest. We have to accept the decision. No way we can go against the medical advice. It’s a pity for him, because he came here well-prepared, it was one of a few races he could ride for himself, for his own result. [It’s a] pity to be on that situation, but it’s also part of our sport.”