John Degenkolb has described the extent of the injuries he sustained when a car hit the Giant-Alpecin team when they were out training in Calpe, Spain, on Saturday afternoon.
The 27-year-old German said that he sustained injuries to his thigh, forearm, lip and one of his fingers suffered a deep laceration to the extent that it was virtually severed.
Degenkolb gave thanks for the many messages of support that he had received from fans and said via his Facebook page: “I’m all right, considering the circumstances.“
According to the 2015 Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo champion, he wrote the Facebook message while in an ambulance travelling to Valencia for specialist surgery to re-attach his finger.
“Now I’m in the ambulance heading to Valencia, where in a larger hospital my left index finger should be restored,” Degenkolb said. “It’s just hung on to the last corner of my hand.”
Six of the team’s riders were taken to hospital with injuries: Degenkolb, Warren Barguil, Chad Haga, Fredrik Ludvigsson, Ramon Sinkeldam and Max Walscheid. Haga was reportedly air-lifted to hospital after suffering serious injuries.
The Giant-Alpecin team issued a statement on Saturday evening, giving some more information on how the incident occurred: “During the training ride a car coming the other direction drove into the group of riders head on. The riders were riding side by side on their own side of the road.”
Spanish media report that the driver was a British national.
The cycling world has reacted with deep shock to the incident, with many professional riders, teams, fans and people in and out of the cycling industry offering messages of support to those affected.