Ryder Hesjedal

Ryder Hesjedal

Tour de France: Broken rib not slowing Hesjedal

Crashes have been the bane of Ryder Hesjedal's Grand Tour cycling career

It was clear that Garmin-Sharp cyclist Christian Vande Velde had suffered in the Stage 5 crash today (July 3) of the Tour de France.

But it came as a surprise that Ryder Hesjedal too is injured, as the diagnosis for both were released in a statement by Garmin-Sharp today.

Hesjedal is bearing through a broken rib, contracted when a cyclist crashed into him on Stage 1. Clearly it’s not affecting him too much as he’s in 14th, just 17 seconds back of the yellow jersey.

“I have had some discomfort since the crash I was involved in during Stage 1. A scan today confirmed a fracture so at least now we know what we’re dealing with. A lot of times with rib injuries fractures don’t show up right away so waiting until today we were able to confirm what’s going on. There’s not much you can do about a fractured rib except for deal with the discomfort so that is what I’ve been doing and will keep doing. I just hope Christian and everyone else who crashed today is OK.”

Vande Velde is much worse off said the team doctor Prentice Steffen in the statement.

“Christian has plates in his collarbone from previous injuries. After today’s crash, an ultrasound and x-ray show a blood clot in a neck muscle (left sternocleidomastoid) and a loosened screw in his clavicle plate. From what we can tell, it is possible that the screw may have jabbed a muscle. Preliminary x-rays do not show a fracture but it probably flexed a bit in the crash and disrupted a screw. Its an unusual injury and we will monitor him over night and make a determination in the morning as to whether or not he will start the stage. Christian’s health is the most important thing to us, so we will evaluate him again tomorrow and determine next steps at that time.”

Stage 6 tomorrow (July 4) runs 176 km from Aix-en-Provence to Montpellier.