Classics sensation Max Walscheid ‘unbelievably lucky to survive’ crash with car

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Max Walscheid’s torrid start to the season was derailed by a car collision that left him grateful for his life on Thursday.

Cofidis’ pavement was hit by a car while training near his home in Franken, Germany, on Thursday. The 28-year-old was airlifted to hospital in a collision which he says left his bike “completely destroyed”, but miraculously left him with only bruises.

“The first thing that comes to mind is that I was incredibly lucky to survive this accident. Even though we haven’t done all the x-rays yet, I obviously don’t have any broken bones. Walscheid said in a team statement.

“I was just doing a classic training after Bruges-De Panne. I was on a calm road, in perfect conditions. Fortunately, I was not moving very fast, on the side of the road. A car came from the opposite direction She suddenly turned to the right, without blinking, rushed at me and hit me. I didn’t even have time to do anything, or be afraid before the accident happen.

Walscheid had a torrid start to the season with a victory at the “mini-Paris-Roubaix” GP Denain and a second at Nokere Koerse. On Wednesday alone, he finished fourth behind winner Tim Merlier at Brugge de Panne.

Although the German left without fractures, his planned starts at Dwars door Vlaanderen, Tour of Flanders and Scheldeprijs are now unlikely as the Cofidis team carry out additional checks on his head, breathing and heart.

The news is the latest example of the daily dangers faced by pros in their essential workouts. Egan Bernal’s horror crash in January showed the danger of the open road.

Walscheid regretted the loss of racing time but focused first on his near escape.

“I still can’t believe I was able to get through this without much deeper injuries,” he said. “It just comes from understanding. At the same time, it’s very hard because I was particularly comfortable in the race, I had good results and the potential to do more. But today, I prefer above all to rejoice to be still alive.