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“When he came back to the bus, I spoke to him for about five minutes. He was very emotional so I didn’t really talk to him about how or why the accident happened,” Garmin-Sharp sports director said.

Photo: Sirotti








08.04.2014 @ 21:02 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Described as one of the most exciting races so far this season, the Ronde van Vlaanderen was, in fact, a brutal and crash-marred spectable which saw Johan Vansummeren being involved with the most dramatic one, as the former Paris-Roubaix champion unintentionally collided with an elderly spectator.


The collision itself was purely documented – TV images show Vansummeren riding into shot just before hitting the woman at high speed, but scenes of a pair recorded after the accident happened suggested that both parties were severely injured.


Indeed, both the Garmin-Sharp rider and 65-year old woman were quickly hospitalized, however, Vansummeren anded up with several cuts and bruises, while the elderly spectator reportedly undergone two brain surgeries and were put into an induced coma – those information weren’t officially confirmed, though.


With relatively harmless bruises and cuts on his face, the Belgian classics specialist was in a physical state allowing him to return to training a day after the accident happened, however, according to the Garmin-Sharp sports director Geert van Bondt, a psychological acpects of the situation turned out to be crushing for the former Paris-Roubaix champion.


“He went for a short ride this morning, only for an hour or so. It is not good to lock yourself at home. It was good for him to get out of the house. His legs are ok, he only has some bruising. It is just his neck that is sore,” he explained.


“He is more concerned with the accident and how the lady is doing. We are seeing it in the news. If we had a number then we would contact her family to see how she is doing, but we can only follow it on the news.”


“When he came back to the bus, I spoke to him for about five minutes. He was very emotional so I didn’t really talk to him about how or why the accident happened,” van Bondt told Cyclingnews.


“He made a statement to the police and then we sent him home. I spoke to him for a little bit this morning, but we didn’t talk about how it happened. You can see the images on TV, but I can’t really say how it happened.”


The cyclist and race organizers were questioned by police following the accident, and as a consequence some rumours have spread about the potential ramifications and legal case against Vansummeren. However, Garmin denied to be aware of such actions being taken against their rider.


“I read about it on the internet. We have spoken to the police, but that is normal in Belgium when there has been a big accident and there is a victim. It is nothing against Johan,” sad van Bondt.


“We have had no indication that Johan will have any legal proceedings against him.”


Before the hugely unfortunate accident happened, Vansummeren was expected to spearhead the Garmin-Sharp roster for the Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, but even though the Belgian classics specialist has already returned to training, in remains unclear whether his physical condition will allow him to line up at the start of the Hell of the North this season.


“We will have to wait and see. Like I said, his legs are ok there is just some cuts and bruises, he is just stiff from the accident,” said van Bondt.


“He has done a ride, but he is still suffering mentally from the accident. We will have to see how those two things come together and see how he is.”



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