Crashes and illness have made the 2005 season one to forget for CSC’s Jakob Piil. Another crash at t
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM There seems to be no end to Jakob Piil’s string of bad luck. In Sunday’s Zri Metzgete, the Dane crashed and suffered two open fractures in his hip and is waiting to undergo surgery later this week (writes Susanne Horsdal). In one of the fractures a steel wire needs to be attached between the bone and the muscles, but because it’s an open fracture, the doctors have to make sure that there’s no inflammation in the wound before they operate. “I’ll have to take a six-week break from the bike and then it’s back to rehabilitation. I hope I heal as quickly as I usually do. But the season is over. Afterwards I have to grit my teeth again and get back to work. Only I have to be careful, give it time and not force anything,” Piil told procycling from his hospital bed in Zurich. The crash happened when a Quick Step-Innergetic team car braked right in front of Piil when he was returning to a group of about 40 riders after taking a natural break. “We were in a group of several riders who had just given the car space to pass us. As we were almost back with the group, I decided to overtake him on his left side because I was afraid that he would change lanes and there wasn’t room for him to go to the left. That’s when he braked really hard and I ended on some loose rocks on the roadside that caused the crash,” said Piil. “It was at a time when there was absolutely no stress in the peloton. I’m very angry with the way he was driving and I intend to pursue this. It should have some consequences. Driving like he did doesn’t just jeopardise my life and health but that of all the riders.” Piil had just returned to racing at the world championships in Madrid last week after crashing on the 12th stage of the Vuelta, sustaining severe concussion, breaking his thumb and bruising his ribs. Despite that, he was still in top condition at the Worlds, where he put in a very strong performance to finish sixth in the road race. He had hoped to benefit from his condition in the last races of the season. “Jakob’s crash is really tragic,” his said his CSC team manager Bjarne Riis. “He was in the shape of his life and now he has to see it all crumble because of a team car that didn’t drive according to regulations. He really has good reason to be furious – not least after all that he’s been through to get back to the highest level,” added Riis, referring to the crashes and illnesses that have plagued Piil’s season. Piil is expected to remain in hospital for a week before he can return to his home in Spain.