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Euser hurt in training crash with car

Garmin-Slipstream’s American rider Lucas Euser was badly injured in a collision with a car during a training ride outside the team’s Spanish base of Girona on Thursday afternoon. Euser, 25, suffered a broken right knee, two broken ribs on his left side and a number of cuts and bruises.

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By Fred Dreier

Euser in action at the 2009 Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Photo: Graham Watson

Garmin-Slipstream’s American rider Lucas Euser was badly injured in a collision with a car during a training ride outside the team’s Spanish base of Girona on Thursday afternoon. Euser, 25, suffered a broken right knee, two broken ribs on his left side and a number of cuts and bruises.

“I’m really bummed out. I haven’t felt this good on the bike in a long time,” Euser told VeloNews from his hospital in Girona. “It can get frustrating when you work on everything you can to be a good bike racer, strive for perfection and something completely out of your control takes you out.”

Euser hails from Napa, California, and won the 2008 Univest Grand Prix.

Euser was riding intervals roughly 25 kilometers outside of Girona when a car made a right turn directly in front of him and stopped. Euser skidded on the rainy roads and plowed head-on into the side of the car. He estimated he was going 45 kph, and said he spent 20-25 minutes on the ground waiting for an ambulance.

“As a cyclist you eventually learn to diagnose your own injuries, and before [paramedics] got to me I knew I had broken some ribs,” Euser said. “I couldn’t breathe very well so I was worried about a punctured lung, but I could tell I smashed my knee to the point where it was broken.”

Euser was taken to the Clinic Onyar, where a knee specialist flew in from nearby Galacia to perform a surgery that lasted three hours.

“The team bent over backwards to help me out — they used their network to find the best people and the best hospital for me,” Euser said.

The accident halts Euser’s early summer racing campaign, which was scheduled to include the Dauphiné Libéré and the Tour of Austria. Doctors told the American he can be up and moving in two weeks, however it will take much longer before he’s back on the bike and ready to train.

Euser hopes he can rebound for the Vuelta a España, his primary goal of the late season.