Astana rider Michael Valgren was lucky to escape serious injury after a nasty crash in La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday.
Valgren crashed heavily with 65km remaining in the race, appearing to land on his face before rolling across the tarmac. He was then treated by race doctors as he sat at the side of road with his head bleeding.
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According to his team, the Danish rider was then taken to the local hospital where he had stitches to the wounds on his face, but tests did not reveal any fractures or other serious injuries.
Valgren also took to Twitter to tell his fans that he was OK after the crash, even if that assurance was accompanied by a pretty gruesome photograph.
Valgren’s crash was one of a number of unfortunate incidents in the race for the Kazakh team, whose best rider was Jakob Fuglsang in 22nd place.
“Unfortunately, this heavy crash happened and it had a big impact over team’s strategy in the race. We hope, Michael will get well soon,” said Lars Michaelsen, one of the team’s directeurs sportifs.
“But, anyway, it was not the only bad luck for us in this race. With more or less 20 km to go Tanel Kangert got a flat tire. Andriy Grivko provided him his rear wheel and Tanel tried his best to come back in the peloton.
“But, it was a bad moment, since the peloton increased the pace significantly starting a hard chase of the break. So, it was really impossible for Kangert to come back. It is a pity, because he felt very good today and was motivated to fight for a strong result.”
Valgren had been expected to be part of the Astana team for Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but could now be out of action for a number of weeks.