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Karsten Kroon (right) is welcomed back from the hospital by BMC Racing Team motorcoach driver Francesco Villa. (BMC Racing Team photo.)
Karsten Kroon (right) is welcomed back from the hospital by BMC Racing Team motorcoach driver Francesco Villa. (BMC Racing Team photo.)

Vuelta, Stage 14: Kroon Crashes Out

3. September 2011

La Farrapona. Lagos de Somiedo, Spain

BMC Racing Team's Karsten Kroon overshot a turn on a high speed descent Saturday and crashed into a heavily wooded area 30 meters below, breaking his left forearm and ending his Vuelta a España.

Crash Unseen

Kroon had been riding in an 18-man breakaway when the mishap happened just after the group crested the summit of the Puerto de la Ventana, 111 kilometers into the 175.8 km race. BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue, who was following the breakaway but several cars back in the caravan, said no one saw Kroon and two others go off the narrow road. "We understand it happened in a curve, a left one, which was looking dangerous," Lelangue said. "In fact, I informed (BMC Racing Team Assistant Director) Rik Verbrugghe it was dangerous. So I remember well passing there. There was nothing on the ground – no bike, no bottles and no spectators. So no one could inform us that something had happened."

Second Mishap This Year
Kroon said he doesn't remember much about the crash because he lost consciousness. "I remember two guys who more or less attacked on the descent," Kroon said. "They both crashed and I think I came around the turn and they were there, or somebody was there. I don't remember." Kroon's injuries are limited to his fractured left forearm, BMC Racing Team Doctor Giovanni Ruffini said. Earlier this season, Kroon broke his left collarbone in a crash at the Tour of Flanders. Rein Taaramae (Cofidis-Le Credit En Ligne) soloed to win Saturday's stage while Ivan Santaromita was the BMC Racing Team's first finisher (65th, 20:23 back). Overall, Bradley Wiggins (Sky Pro Cycling) kept the lead.