“In a small group of runners dropped, I managed to finish, without being able to help the others. I was sick. A pain that I recognized from 2018 ”, said Gilbert, recalling his fall in the Tour of that year, in the descent of the Col de Portet d’Aspert on stage 16, which left him a broken kneecap of the same left knee.
“Was it the same fracture from two years ago or a new one?” Gilbert said. “We wouldn’t be sure until after an ultrasound, and there a new fracture was diagnosed. The good news is, it’s a non-displacement fracture. First, we feared problems with tendons and ligaments.
“The hospital doctor, who took his time for us and stayed with us until 11 pm, spoke of a period of two to three weeks of immobility. It could have been worse, ”he said.
“What a disappointment for us,” added Gilbert, speaking on behalf of him and Degenkolb. “We are both runners who love their sport and their work. We always have respect for the races, our team and our sponsors. We still fight and share the same values. I have great respect for what John did, finishing after a bad fall, doing 65 kilometers alone and arriving two minutes out of time.
“John gave everything, but got no respect from the Stewards. With the rain and all the falls, at least he deserved the respect to put it in the results, although afterwards he would have been unable to continue. It is so unacceptable. Gilbert said.