The Dutch Ineos Grenadiers rider was among a number of riders who hit the deck in a hectic final to the sprint stage, won by Geoffrey Soupe (TotalEnergies), as he crashed at high speed 5km from the finish of the stage.
He was taken to hospital in an ambulance, but a CT scan and X-ray ruled out any major injuries or bone breaks. Speaking on Saturday morning, Arensman said that he’s missing a few hours of memory as a result of the crash and also thanked his Kask helmet for saving his life.
“I can think it was quite scary because I think I was out for a few hours. I can’t remember three or four hours maybe. But I think I’m super lucky that I didn’t break anything,” Arensman said in a video posted to Twitter.
“I think if I wasn’t wearing a helmet I don’t know if I’d still be here so I can really thank the helmet for that.”
Arensman also detailed the injuries he sustained and noted that he is in pain all over his body following the crash. He’ll head back to the Netherlands today while his Ineos Grenadiers team fight on at the Vuelta with six remaining riders.
“As you can see, I miss some teeth and my neck hurts, which is why I’m wearing this beautiful [neck brace],” Arensman said. “Also my eye and my stitches. Actually, it hurts everywhere a little bit, my whole body, my knees, my arms.
“I think I was super lucky because it could’ve been really bad. My head hurts a little bit so I’m going to take it really easy now.
“Thanks for the care of the doctor here and the whole team. My girlfriend is here with me, and we’ll travel back to the Netherlands today. I guess everything is quite alright.”
Arensman lay 24th overall at 5:10 down on race leader Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ) before the crash, one place behind team leader Geraint Thomas, who was also held up and lost 24 seconds at the finish.
The Welshman continues to lead the British team into the Vuelta’s second week and a date with the steep slopes of Xorret de Catí on Saturday’s stage 8. He lies in 23rd at 5:21 down on Martinez and 2:34 down on reigning champion Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep).
The guy we all wanted to see this morning 😃We’re thrilled to have @ThymenArensman back at the team hotel after his crash yesterday at #LaVuelta23 Here are the thoughts of the man himself as he prepares to head home to continue his recovery 📽️ pic.twitter.com/keZHm5MKMGSeptember 2, 2023