After a crash on the approach to the final climb, Team Sunweb’s Wilco Kelderman is forced to abandon the Tour of Guangxi on it’s fourth stage.
The fourth stage of the Tour of Guangxi saw riders contest the queen stage, a 151 kilometre route from Nanning to Nongla with a third category climb and a final first category test positioned just before the finish line.
Lennard Hofstede represented Team Sunweb in the day’s four rider breakaway, who went clear in the early kilometres of the race. After they extended their lead out to seven and a half minutes, the peloton began to pick up the pace and slowly reeled them in. The catch was made with six kilometres to go and teams began to position their riders ahead of the uphill kick to the line. A crash one kilometre before the climb brought down Team Sunweb’s Wilco Kelderman, Albert Timmer and Max Walscheid, amongst other riders. Whilst both and Albert and Max were able to finish, Wilco Kelderman’s injuries forced him to abandon the race.
Team Sunweb coach Arthur van Dongen said: “We had a good day with Lennard in the breakaway. Unfortunately with one kilometre to the final climb there was a crash in the bunch which brought down a lot of riders. Max and Albert were able to finish but Wilco was forced to abandon due to his injuries.”
Team Sunweb’s physician Anko Boelens said: “Wilco has sustained a large laceration and a deep cut to his underarm which will require stitches. He is currently receiving treatment and will undergo further check-ups when he is back at home. An injury of this nature should take around two weeks to heal.”
Arthur van Dongen added: “With Wilco out of the race we will now focus our efforts on the remaining stages with Max, he has shown some great form this week and we will continue to explore the possibilities for more nice results.”
Speaking of his day in the break Lennard said: “It was a hard day in the break but I felt quite good. We managed to get a pretty big time gap at one point so we carried on trying. In the end it didn’t work out and we were caught just before the climb.”