Belgian cyclist Philippe Gilbert (38) suffered a broken kneecap in his heavy crash in the opening stage of the Tour de France and will not start in the second stage. That’s what his team Lotto-Soudal announced in the night from Saturday to Sunday.
Due to the fall, the former world champion (2012) crossed the finish line in Nice on Saturday at more than eleven minutes from winner Alexander Kristoff.
In the Tour de France of 2018, Gilbert broke the same kneecap in a fall in the descent of the Portet d’Aspet. After the finish in Nice on Saturday and the first medical care by the team doctor, Gilbert was taken to a medical unit where X-rays did not reveal any major problems.
“In a small group of fallen riders I managed to finish, without being able to help the others. I was in pain. A pain I recognized from 2018″, Gilbert said.
The first day of the Tour is one to quickly forget for Lotto-Soudal, with not only Gilbert’s fall but also that of his teammate John Degenkolb. The German stayed outside the time limit after his crash and is not allowed to start on Sunday.
In this video CCeit on 3 explains how organisations (should) ensure that races are as safe as possible