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Giant-Alpecin riders injured in training crash

(AFP) — German sprint specialist John Degenkolb has undergone surgery to repair a deep cut on his leg and a fractured forearm.

Degenkolb and five other Giant-Alpecin teammates were mowed down by an English driver whilst training near Alicante, southeast Spain, on Saturday.

“Given the circumstances, I am fine,” Degenkolb wrote on his facebook page.

Warren Barguil, Chad Haga, Fredrik Ludvigsson, Ramon Sinkeldam and Max Walscheid were also taken to hospital in Alicante, but were said to be in a stable condition.

“They are lucky to be alive,” Degenkolb’s agent Jorg Werner told SID, an AFP subsidiary.

According to a team statement, France’s Barguil suffered a fractured scaphoid that may require surgery.

American Haga was airlifted to hospital and underwent successful surgery on neck and chin wounds with an orbital fracture to be treated once the swelling around his eye recedes.

“In addition to the serious injuries, he also suffered many contusions and abrasions across his body,” Haga’s mother said in a Facebook post. “The doctor said it was a very bad crash and he will be sore for weeks.”

German Walscheid is also likely to need surgery on a fractured hand and tibia. Meanwhile, Ludvigsson and Sinkeldam suffered cuts and bruises.

“It has been a very tough day for the team and the riders will need time to recover,” said team CEO Iwan Spekenbrink.

“This team – riders, both men and women, and everyone in the organization feels like a band of brothers and sisters. “Together, and by standing by each other, the team will come out of this stronger than ever.”

The riders were riding side-by-side on their side of the road when a car, traveling the opposite direction, rode into the group head on, said a statement by the team. Emergency services on the scene reported that the car was driven by an Englishwoman who had driven onto the wrong side of the road. Local emergency services reported that the riders were taken to hospital in Alicante.

After the crash, Degenkolb took to his Facebook fan page to update fans on his condition. Degenkolb said that his left index finger was seriously damaged, but that it, “should be restored.” He also mentioned wounds to his thigh, lip and forearm, which were treated with local anesthesia. He said he was being transferred to a larger hospital in nearby Valencia.