Arnaud De Lie will miss Florian Vermeersch in his classics team after femur fracture at Murcia: "It wasn't a pretty sight"

Florian Vermeersch's femur fracture, sustained in the Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia, is a major blow to Lotto Dstny's spring plans. Sports director Dirk Demol was the first to reach the spring leader, who had a hard fall in a descent from Bermejo climb.

It is expected that Vermeersch, who underwent surgery on Saturday evening, will be out of action for approximately six months. From the team car, Demol heard about Lotto Dstny rider's crash. "When I saw Florian lying two meters deeper along the other side of the wooden balustrade, I knew it immediately," he tells Het Nieuwsblad.

"He must have hit the wooden balustrade with his left thigh. I didn't dare look much at his leg. I sat there for ten minutes. He was heartbroken about it," says Demol. "Normally, he will be out of action for six months, but on the other hand he is an athlete and they can come back much faster than a normal mortal. But we will lose him for a long time anyway."

Coincidentally, the other leader Arnaud De Lie was also in the support car that stopped at Vermeersch after his retirement. "It wasn't a pretty sight," he says. "Florian is not only a very good teammate, but also a leader. I hoped his fall wouldn't be too bad, but when I saw him lying there I feared the worst. Obviously this changes our plans a bit. We still have a good team, but I would rather have Florian with me at the spring races."

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