UAE Team Emirates’ Colombian sprinter Juan Sebastián Molano has suffered concussion and a broken toe, but was fortunate to avoid even more serious injury, after being struck head-on by a motorist in a horrifying collision while training in Belgium.
While his team leader Tadej Pogačar was putting on a dazzling display over the Flemish cobbles at the E3 Saxo Classic, Molano – who has enjoyed a successful spring campaign of his own, winning the Grand Prix de Denain cobbled semi-classic and taking a stage of the UAE Tour – was training alone in nearby Waregem yesterday when he was hit by a motorist who appeared to be turning into a driveway and across the rider’s lane.
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Footage of the shocking crash, captured by a nearby CCTV camera and published by Belgian broadcaster Sporza, shows the 28-year-old riding along before being suddenly struck head-on by the turning motorist, catapulting Molano out of shot and sending his bike flying into the driveway.
Fortunately, and rather miraculously, the sprinter’s injuries were not too severe and did not require surgery, but do mean that he is ruled out of the upcoming cobbled classics, including tomorrow’s Gent-Wevelgem and, almost certainly, next Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.
“Unfortunately Juan Sebastián Molano will be ruled out of Gent-Wevelgem, having sustained numerous injuries in a training crash in Belgium,” a statement from his UAE Team Emirates squad read last night.
“Amongst his injuries, Molano suffered concussion and a fractured toe which will keep him on the sidelines for some weeks.”
According to reports, the Colombian was discharged from hospital today and has travelled home to Andorra, where he will hope to recover in time for next month’s Tour de Hongrie.
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It wasn’t a good weekend for Colombia’s top riders, as Molano’s compatriot Egan Bernal – who is in the midst of a comeback to the sport following his horrific training crash last year – was forced to abandon the Volta a Catalunya today following another spill.
Fortunately, the 2019 Tour de France winner, who sustained horrific injuries, including multiple fractures and a punctured lung, after he hit a parked bus while training at home in Colombia last January, did not suffer any fractures in today’s fall and will be treated for skin abrasions, a statement from his Ineos Grenadiers team has said.
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