Belgian rider worried about mental impact of crash

Laurens De Plus may be back home in Belgium recovering from injuries sustained after a crash with a truck during a training ride in South Africa, but the Belgian has revealed that he suffers more with the mental repercussions of the crash than the physical, still suffering nightmare.

De Plus was training with Quick-Step Floors team-mates Petr Vakoc and Bob Jungels in South Africa in January when they were involved in a crash with a truck. De Plus suffered a broken pelvis and vertebrae in the, with Vakoc also suffering more severe fractures to his spine.

Vakoc also returned home from South Africa on February 7 (with De Plus also revealing that his Czech team-mate couldn’t move his legs in the minutes after the crash), and both riders hope to make a full recovery.

>>> ‘Everything was quiet, we were laughing, then we were on the ground’: Laurens De Plus opens up about Quick-Step truck crash

However while De Plus’ physical rehabilitation has now begun (although he is still walking on crutches), he thinks that the mental scars of the crash will take longer to heal.

“The mental damage was certainly great in the first weeks. I had the feeling that everything was lost,” the Belgian rider told Sporza.

“There have been very difficult and difficult moments, which I sometimes still have, especially when I consider that it could have been even worse. I had just suffered my fall in Il Lombardia, and then this happens. The mental damage was perhaps even greater than the physical.

“I’m pretty sure everything will be alright, but it will take time. Sometimes the pictures play out again in my sleep, but then everything comes back, which will be part of the recovery process, but I still have to try to get it out of my mind.”

>>> Bob Jungels posts emotional video appeal after Quick-Step Floors training crash (video)

De Plus had been scheduled to be part of Quick-Step Floors team for the Giro d’Italia, and although he recognises that this will be a fight against time, he hasn’t given up hope of being on the start line in Jerusalem on May 4.

“In South Africa I felt that I was growing towards my top form. Now I have to start from scratch again “, the 22-year-old continued.

“The big goal this year was the Giro d’Italia and I still hope for that, but I also have to be realistic: first see how everything develops and then see when I can make my comeback.”