Team Garmin-Slipstream went almost a whole week without a crash or injury — but as it is often said, things happen in threes. On Thursday three of the Argyle Armada ended up on the deck with three disparate results.
The worst of the three was Blake Caldwell who crashed while going out for a training ride at his home in Girona. “I was heading out for a ride this morning and fell on my hip,” Caldwell said on his blog. “Felt something when I landed and, yep, its fractured. I can’t believe it. 3 hours ago I was motivated as could be about getting out training in the pissing rain for Pais Vasco.”
Caldwell’s pre and post-operative x-rays
According to the Garmin Slipstream medical team, Caldwell’s surgery went well and he is recovering. “Blake sustained an intertrochanteric fracture of the femur that required ORIF (open reduction internal fixation),” said team doctor Prentice Steffen.
“This fracture is just like what many older people have when they fall and have a ‘broken hip.’ For Blake it was just bad luck landing in just the wrong way with just enough force to cause the break.”
Team physiologist Dr. Allen Lim commented that ironically while cyclists, like other low-impact athletes, often do have low bone densities, one of the members of the team with the highest is Mike Friedman.
That must have served ‘Meatball’ well yesterday, as he and Svein Tuft crashed during the finale of stage 3a of Three Days of De Panne, when the fast-moving peloton was negotiating a traffic island with tree planters in the middle of the road.
“Tuft dove, tucked and rolled — quite impressive actually!” said Dr. Steffen. “He has a contused right leg and some very minor abrasions. And he was seventh in the afternoon TT! He was a bit sore Friday morning, but he will be fine.”
“Meatball got it worse. Lots of harsh abrasions. Hit head but no loss of consciousness or other symptoms, just strained neck muscles. He will do 60km recovery ride with the others today and we will re-examine after. He is a maybe for Flanders in two days, but I expect he will be good for Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix.”