The riders – both conscious – were immediately attended by team trainer Koen Pelgrim and soon they were transported to the Mediclinic Nelspruit, where Laurens was diagnosed with multiple abrasions and a minor pulmonary and kidney contusion, as consequence of the crash; the Belgian will be kept under observation, but should be released from the hospital in a few days. Petr was less fortunate, after the scans revealed several fractured vertebrae, which require surgery that will be performed later today.
Bob Jungels described what happened: “The three of us were out training, when suddenly I heard a loud noise and then in the following second I saw Laurens and Petr on the ground. I did not see the truck coming from behind, but it must have hit them with the left front mirror or even the front left part. I ran to them and could see they were injured, so I did not dare to move them. A lady who was on the side of the road came and helped us, calling the ambulance, while our trainer Koen and I talked with them. It was really tough to see them like that and I hope they will get over this difficult moment soon. I wish them a fast recovery.”
The team will release further information on the riders’ condition later. In the meantime, Quick-Step Floors kindly ask you to respect the privacy of the riders and their families, and address any enquiry to the team.
UPDATE: Petr Vakoc underwent surgery at the Mediclinic Nelspruit to stabilize the broken vertebrae he sustained during his Thursday training ride in South Africa, when he was clipped by a truck. Stable and conscious after the accident in which also teammate Laurens De Plus was involved, the 25-year-old Czech went into surgery Friday afternoon and spent the entire night under observation, before being awakened by the doctors on Saturday.
The post-surgery tests conducted this morning showed Petr responding to all stimuli, moving and talking with the doctors, who deemed the intervention a success. Now, the Quick-Step Floors rider will remain for ten more days in the hospital before traveling back to Europe.
“This morning I talked with Petr and he was relieved that everything went fine. The last 48 hours were long and nerve consuming, but we are happy things are good now. Petr needs a lot of rest and time to recover now, and we will be by his side to help him”, said the team’s trainer Koen Pelgrim.