Niki Terpstra makes his comeback in competition exactly two months after his heavy crash during training. The 36-year-old rider of Total Direct Energie will start on Sunday in the Tour of Wallonia.
Terpstra had a hard fall in mid-June when he had to escape for a couple of geese on the Markerwaarddijk between Lelystad and Enkhuizen. He broke his collarbone and some ribs and suffered a lung collapse and concussion. He was allowed to leave the hospital after five days.
A month after his crash, Terpstra carefully got back on the bike and also went to the training camp of his team in Besse. He focused on the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, the two monuments that have been moved to October 18 and 25 respectively due to the corona crisis.
“It goes forward with two steps and then one step back. It is a long process and I realize that things are going well now, but I also know that the last 10 percent is the most difficult. In any case, I will work very hard on it. As an extreme athlete you have to do extreme things. In this case it is no different, “he said at the time.
Terpstra may also make his appearance in the Tour de France, which starts on August 26. At the beginning of this month he was still missing from the pre-selection of Total Direct Energie, but the team was still expecting a longer recovery at the time. He was initially expected to have to rehabilitate for three months.
The Tour of Wallonia has four stages (two flat and two hilly) through Belgium. Terpstra already took the overall victory in 2015. In the coming edition, he will be the leader of Total Direct Energie and will be assisted by his fellow countryman Pim Ligthart, among others.