Dutchwoman Ellen van Dijk is sidelined following a crash in the open kilometres of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday. Although she was able to finish the 123-kilometre race, an increase in pain alerted her to the severity of her injuries. X-rays revealed a broken rib alongside several bruised ribs.
“I crashed already after five kilometres,” said Van Dijk. “It was quite a big crash in the front of the bunch that I couldn’t avoid.”
“I had some pain, but it was manageable on the bike,” she added. “I thought my ribs probably were bruised.”
The pain didn’t stop Van Dijk from supporting Boels-Dolmans to a 1-2 finish in Gent. She slipped away solo heading into the Molenberg and lead the peloton into the Paddenstraat before the fragment bunched caught her on the cobbles.
“My bike was a bit broken after the crash,” she noted. “It didn’t shift perfectly, and I had some problems on the cobbles. After the last cobble section, I decided to change my bike, and I didn’t make it back to the chase group after the change.”
The effort over and the adrenaline waning, Van Dijk realised her injuries may have been worse than she suspected during the race.
“The pain really kicked in during the race, and I was a bit worried about my spleen,” Van Dijk explained. “Luckily all my organs are fine.”
Van Dijk will sit out Le Samyn on Wednesday to focus on her recovery. Reports circulating on Twitter over the weekend indicating that Van Dijk is out for the spring season are inaccurate. While Van Dijk does not yet have a timeline for her return to racing, she believes it could be as early as mid- to late-March.
“Things haven’t changed very fast yet,” Van Dijk noted. “I hope to be back on the bike soon. How quickly I return depends of course on how quickly I heal. I need to take it step by step. My first focus is to get as soon as possible back to training. I’ll see how things develop from there.”