Greg Henderson crashes out of Tour de France

DAVID LONG
Last updated 08:34 09/07/2014
greg henderson
Getty
NASTY INJURY: Kiwi cyclist Greg Henderson is expected to be fit in time for the Commonwealth Games despite crashing out of the Tour de France.

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Greg Henderson says he doesn't know if he'll be able to ride in the Commonwealth Games after his knee 'exploded' in last night's stage of the Tour de France.

The Kiwi cyclist crashed in the fourth stage when up the front of the peloton, skidding off his bike going through a roundabout and had to abandon the race immediately.

Speaking to Fairfax Media on his way to hospital soon afterwards Henderson said the accident happened when he collided with his Lotto Belisol team leader, Andre Greipel.

"The problem was that it wasn't actually a bad crash," Henderson said. 

"It was just that I landed on my knee I had surgery on not long ago, so the scar tissue was still weak.

"The knee just exploded and ripped really badly. I had to hold it together while I was lying on the ground and they couldn't keep it together.

"I got in the ambulance and they said they'd just take me to hospital because it obviously needs some surgery.

"I'm travelling there now; I decided to go to my team's orthopaedic surgeon, he did my knee last time. 

"So they can operate on me, have a good look in there and see if there is any structural damage, stitch me up and send me on my way hopefully."

Thankfully for Henderson, at this point it looks like there is no serious damage to his knee but it could take a while to come right.

"I got an x-ray and it showed there was no fracture, so that's one thing ticked off," Henderson said. 

"But the skin has separated so much from the kneecap and that's why they've had to send me to the hospital to stitch it back up and they've got to put a drain in it to stop it getting infected.

"This time tomorrow I'll know a lot more regarding when I'll be back on the bike."

Henderson was set to be one of New Zealand's key riders in the road race at the Commonwealth Games, which takes place on August 3, the last day of competition.

Henderson said he would talk to Bike NZ overnight about his situation and then make the call as to whether he'll be able to go to Glasgow.

"I'll have a chat with Craig Geater and Mark Elliott and explain it to them," he said. 

"If I'm off the bike for more than two weeks I'll probably have to pull the pin on the Commonwealth Games, but if it's a week to 10 days then there is still a good chance I can do it, because at the moment I'm in really good condition.

"It's a different story if you injure yourself and you're unfit, but obviously I'm at the peak of my fitness. So I'll know more tomorrow, I'll make that call then."

This was Henderson's third Tour de France and he was in good form heading into it, winning a race in the Netherlands last month. 

For professional cyclists riding in the Tour de France is the ultimate and not surprisingly, Henderson said he was gutted at having to abandon after just four stages.

"It's crushing, especially with how much work I've done to get back and fit in time to be ready for the Tour de France and to be performing really well," he said. 

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"I had good condition and sensation on the bike and for it to happen so early. 

"It wasn't like it was a big pile up or anything like that, it was just one of those stupid little crashes, every other part of my body is fine, you wouldn't even know tomorrow that I've crashed, it's just that the knee took the brunt of it and it just split because it's weak tissue there, so it's just unlucky."

The stage was won by German Marcel Kittel, who has been first across the line in three of the four stages so far.

- Stuff

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