Joop Zoetemelk is back home after his accident a week and a half ago in France. The 1980 Tour de France winner needs time to further recover and is grateful for all the support.
“It is impossible to thank everyone personally, but all the expressions of sympathy have done me very well,” said the 73-year-old Zoetemelk in a Wednesday. statement, which was drawn up because he is still weak and too tired to speak to the press.
In the collision with a passenger car last Sunday in the vicinity of his French hometown Germigny l’Évêque, Zoetemelk broke his left upper arm and his right hand and sustained injuries to both legs. He was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Paris and operated there.
Last Monday, eight days after the accident, Zoetemelk was allowed to leave the hospital, but he is still suffering a lot from the fractures and other injuries. He now wants to work on his recovery in peace.
The accident happened on the last day of the Tour, with the traditional sprint on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Zoetemelk is still the last Dutchman to win the Tour de France. In 1968 Jan Janssen was the only other Dutchman to take the overall victory in the biggest cycling race in the world.