Philippe Gilbert withdraws from Tour de France with broken kneecap
Aug 30 2020 10:06 am CET

Philippe Gilbert withdraws from Tour de France with broken kneecap
Philippe Gilbert withdraws from Tour de France with broken kneecap
Photo of Philippe Gilbert (c)Lotto Soudal

Lotto Soudal has confirmed that Philippe Gilbert is out of the Tour de France with patella fracture.

On a day that proved to be more difficult than expected for the peloton at the first stage of the French grand tour, there were many crashes that caused chaos in the pack, which forced to neutralise the race for a moment to avoid any further incidents. Philippe Gilbert was one of the victims of these crashes.

The Belgian underwent tests at the Clinique Saint-Jean in Cagnes-sur-Mer revealed a broken kneecap of the left knee. This injury has forced the rider to withdraw from the race.

"I was riding around position 20 in the peloton when they crashed in front of me", explained Gilbert. "I managed to escape that crash. I passed two, three fallen riders and thought to be safe, but then they crashed again, and this time I couldn't avoid them anymore. We were lying there with 10-15 guys...

"Immediately I tried to get up, but that was impossible. I've waited there some two minutes, leaning against a guardrail. Then I left alone without being able to really push on the pedals. In a small group of dropped riders, I managed to finish, without being able to help the others. I was in pain. A pain I recognized from 2018..."

Gilbert had already broken the same kneecap in 2018. "Was it the fracture of two years ago or a new one? We would only be sure after an ultrasonography," said the rider. "There a fresh fracture was diagnosed. The good news is that it's a fracture without displacement. First, we feared problems with tendons and ligaments.

"The doctor of the hospital, who took his time for us and stayed with us until 11 PM, spoke about an immobility period of two-three weeks. It could have been worse."

Earlier on the evening, it was revealed that John Degenkolb is also out of the race after arriving at the finish line out of the time limit due to another crash. "What a disappointment for us", added Gilbert. "We are both riders who love their sport and job. We always have respect for the races, our team and sponsors. We always fight and share the same values.

"I have big respect for what John did, finishing after a nasty crash, 65 kilometres alone and arriving two minutes out of time limit. John gave everything, but got zero respect from the commissaries. With the rain and all crashes, at least he deserved the respect to put him in the result, even if, afterwards, he had been unable to continue. So unacceptable."




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