Steven Kruijswijk breaks collarbone in Vuelta crash
Aug 25 2016 02:39 am CET

Steven Kruijswijk breaks collarbone in Vuelta crash
Steven Kruijswijk breaks collarbone in Vuelta crash

Dutch cyclist Steven Kruijswijk has broken his collarbone after crashing into a small pole during the finale of the fifth stage of the Vuelta a España on Wednesday.

The LottoNL-Jumbo rider hit the pole while going at full speed in the last kilometers of the stage and ended up on the sidewalk next to the road.

"My ribs and collarbone hurt a lot," Kruijswijk was quoted saying. "I crashed heavily into that pole. It's terrible that I have to leave this race because of an object that shouldn't have been there. I'm going home immediately tomorrow. This was, after the Giro d’Italia, my second big target and I'm really fed up about the way I'm leaving this Vuelta."

"It didn’t go the way we wanted in this race," added Sports Director Addy Engels. The first summit finish already was a disappointment. It went a little bit better yesterday and we were positive about the possibility that Steven Kruijswijk would have been able to reach his top level during this Vuelta.

"This crash is an enormous setback. Steven's general classification was the team's main target in this race. Now, we have to change plans. We only covered five stages so far, so we need some time to get used to this scenario. It's not something we're immediately capable of because we were all here with the mindset to do it for Steven. We have to take a look at our options. We definitely will have some chances, because we're here with a strong team."

The 2016 season is one of mixed feelings for Kruijswijk. In the Giro d'Italia, the rider was close to the final victory but a crash at two stages from the end prevented the rider from securing the Maglia Rosa.
Photo of Steven Kruijswijk (cropped) by Lotto NL-Jumbo.