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Laurens Ten Dam’s season in doubt after crash

Laurens Ten Dam was hit by a car from behind while training in Belgium and suffered a broken dorsal vertebrae.

LottoNL-Jumbo Cycling Team revealed on Twitter Wednesday morning that Laurens Ten Dam was hit by a car while training, breaking a dorsal vertebra. He was slated to begin the Tour de l’Ain next week, followed by a start at the Vuelta a España.

Ten Dam’s agent, João Correia, revealed more about Ten Dam’s injuries. “His immediate injuries were a hematoma in the head, he’s fully conscious. I spoke with him a couple of times already. He has stitches on his elbow and then bigger part of the injury is he’s got a broken vertebra.”

The collision occurred while Ten Dam was training in Belgium, and the Dutch rider is currently being transferred to Maastricht Hospital in the Netherlands. “He was hit by a car, from behind. The driver was an elderly gentlemen about 85 years old,” Correia told VeloNews.

Ten Dam took to Twitter as he headed to the hospital to thank everyone for the well-wishes and appeared to have a positive attitude, despite the unknowns surrounding the rest of his season.

The extent of the injury is still uncertain. “We don’t really know how long that is going to take, if it will need surgery, or if he’s just going to be able to heal it with bed rest” Correia said. “That’s what they’re going to try to find out in Holland right now.”

Ten Dam rode the Tour de France in July, helping teammate Robert Gesink to a top-10 placing in the general classification. He went into the Tour with hopes of a solid overall finish but lost considerable time on stage 2. And the first mountain stage in the Pyrénées revealed he didn’t have the form he’d hoped for, when he lost over four minutes to Chris Froome at the finish atop La Pierre-Saint-Martin.

Ten Dam, 34, is in the latter years of his career and without a contract for 2016 at the moment. A stint of racing in the U.S. is not out of the question.

“One of the things that Laurens has always spoken about is he wants to end his career racing in the U.S. and living in California,” Correia said. “That is something we are considering with his next offers that we have right now, with the opportunity to eventually do racing in the U.S. and spending a year racing in the U.S.”

Check back to VeloNews for more updates on this developing story.