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Evenepoel 'doing well' and ready to start training after ravine plunge

Remco Evenepoel fractured his pelvis at the Tour of Lombardy
Remco Evenepoel fractured his pelvis at the Tour of Lombardy Marco BERTORELLO AFP/File
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Paris (AFP)

Rising cycling star Remco Evenepoel revealed on Saturday that he is off crutches and "pain-free" and can start training again as he recovers from a season-ending crash at last month's Tour of Lombardy.

The 20-year-old, who has been dubbed the heir to cycling legend Eddy Merckx, fractured his pelvis after hitting a bridge wall and plunging 10 metres (30ft) into a ravine during the Italian race.

"I'm doing well. I am almost completely pain-free and I am a lot more mobile. I can leave the crutches aside now and I'm happy to be able to start working in a more targeted manner," the Belgian said in a statement.

"My recovery process has been going well in recent weeks. Initially I found it hard to go from everything to nothing in terms of movement. But after a necessary period of rest I became more and more mobile recently."

His Deceuninck Quick-Step team said that the news comes following scans in the AZ hospital in the Belgian city of Herentals which showed his recovery was "developing in the right direction".

Evenepoel added that he will now start "exercises for pelvic stability and flexibility" with a physiotherapist and "cycling training on the rollers".

"If everything goes well and the weather is fine, I can then go outside for a bike ride. You can say that the real recovery has now begun for me," added Evenepoel.

Junior European champion in 2018, last season Evenepoel won the time trial at the European road cycling championships and the San Sebastian classic before winning this season's Tour of Poland.

While Evenepoel is well on the mend his teammate Fabio Jakobsen is facing months of convalescence after his life-threatening crash on the first stage in Poland last month.

The 23-year-old Jakobsen was placed in a medically-induced coma and underwent a five-hour operation for facial injuries, regaining consciousness two days later.

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