The 36-year-old Dutchman was airlifted to intensive care when he fell in an effort to avoid a gaggle of geese crossing the road. Terpstra, who rides for the French Total – Direct Energie team, landed with his chest on a large stone along the edge of the road, resulting in a concussion, a collapsed lung, a bruised back, broken ribs and a broken collarbone.
“It looked very serious,” Terpstra’s wife Ramona told De Telegraaf. “It was fortunate that the ambulance arrived quickly, because they could treat him immediately. But because of the seriousness of the situation, they sent for the helicopter, but it could not take off immediately due to the collapsed lung. They first had to “fix” that, as best as possible.”
Terpstra, who won Paris-Roubaix in 2014 and the Tour of Flanders in 2018, has struggled with crashes and injury for the past two years. He fell heavily in Flanders in 2019, forcing him to abandon the race he had won just a year earlier. And the injuries from that crash forced him to withdraw from Paris-Roubaix the following week. He crashed again in the Tour de France and was forced to withdraw on stage 11.
Terpstra had been focusing on the classics, rescheduled for this October. The injuries sustained this past week will force Terpstra out for another 10 to 12 weeks, which will see him miss this summer’s Tour but hopefully be back in action in time for the one-day races.