Wilco Kelderman and Andreas Schillinger have given updates on their condition after a motorist sparked a crash involving seven Bora-Hansgrohe riders on Saturday.
The pair were among the worst-affected during the training crash near Lake Garda in Italy, with Kelderman suffering a concussion and fractured vertebrae, and Schillinger suffering several fractured vertebrae.
Kelderman, who joined the German squad from Team Sunweb for this season, posted an update to Instagram saying that he’ll be forced to take several weeks off the bike as a result of his injuries. He was named as Bora-Hansgrohe’s leader for the Tour de France but now faces a significant delay to to his season, even if he appeared to ride for 30 minutes on the home trainer on Tuesday.
“Thanks for all the messages and support,” he wrote. “Considering the circumstances, I’m doing fine, will be some weeks off to let the neck fracture heal up.
“But one thing I know, I will fight back and come back strong. Also a speedy recovery to my Bora-Hansgrohe mates who were also involved in the accident.”
Schillinger, meanwhile, told radsport-news.com that his helmet saved his life, adding that he has no set return date and will certainly miss his planned early-season races: the Clásica de Almería and the Opening Weekend.
“In my helmet you can see the cut from a chainring,” he said. “The helmet saved my life.
“At the moment I can’t imagine I’ll be able to race again by then. I’m letting everything happen and waiting for the result from Hamburg. The most important thing is that I get pain-free again and for everything to heal completely.”
The 37-year-old, who has to wear a neck brace for at least 10 days, has pain in his shoulder and a swollen knee in addition to the fractures in the transverse processes in his cervical and thoracic spine. Bora-Hansgrohe are working on their rider’s recovery with doctors at the BG Hospital Hamburg.
“Up there, they will take another close look at the findings,” Schillinger said. “I will have to wait and see what comes out of it. At the moment, I’m in quite a lot of pain.”
Schillinger went on to describe the crash, which saw a motorist cross the road without stopping, taking out the group of riders. Rüdiger Selig, Marcus Burghardt, Anton Palzer, Max Schachmann and Michael Schwarzmann were also involved, with Selig suffering a concussion.
“We were on a long, slightly downhill, straight at about 40-45kph,” he said. “The car drove across the road without braking, and we didn’t have a chance. I saw it, but the car was probably going 30-40kph.
“That was unbelievable, driving onto a big road without stopping. And at that moment, there was no other car driving on the other side of the road, so she hit us full on. After that, the woman was in full shock.”