Crashes are an unfortunate and inevitable part of cycling – you’ll be hard pushed to find a professional rider who hasn’t been involved in a bad one in their career.
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Riding then for Vacansoleil-DCM, the Dutchman was one of the 100 or so riders involved in the pile-up towards the end of stage six.
He was taken to hospital with a ruptured spleen and kidney, bruised lungs and three broken ribs – not easy injuries to recover from. Remarkably, Poels tried to carry on. None of his injuries were visible and there was no blood.
He was eventually taken to hospital and taken to intensive care, with his cycling career hanging in the balance.
But he recovered from his injuries and returned to racing seven months later, finishing tenth at the Tirreno-Adriatico in just his second stage race back.
Poels joined Team Sky in 2015 to become part of Chris Froome‘s formidable Tour de France squad, playing a huge part in the Brit’s win that year and again in 2016.
He also won Sky’s first ever one-day Monument, taking a cold and wet edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2016 to write his place in the history books.