Serge Pauwels (Team Dimension Data For Qhubeka) made it into the breakaway on stage 15 of the Tour de France but unfortunately crashed during the sprint for ninth place. He has since been diagnosed with a fracture in his right elbow, forcing him out of the Tour.
The stage was won by Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) from a 3-rider sprint ahead of Ion Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo). Pauwels was part of the group sprinting for 9th place. A touch of wheels in front of the climber left him with nowhere to go but crash into the Mitchelton-Scott rider in front of him.
While Pauwels could still finish the stage, unfortunately the damage was severe as he suffered a broken elbow as a result of the crash and is now out of the Tour de France.
“Unfortunately Serge had a nasty crash in the finale of today’s stage,” said Dr Jarrad Van Zuydum – Team Dimension Data For Qhubeka Team Doctor. “The crash was of no fault of his own and seemed a very pointless crash as well. He has come down quite hard on his right elbow and fractured the olecranon process of the right elbow. It’s actually an injury he has had on the left side before and it is something that requires surgery to fix.
“We are already making arrangements for him to have surgery in Antwerp and he will be back on the trainer pretty soon after that surgery, but obviously we are all very disappointed about the crash.”