The big loser from today’s Tour of Flanders was pre-race favourite Fabian Cancellara, who crashed heavily in the feed zone 60 kilometres from the finish and abandoned.

Lying stricken on the tarmac, the pre-race favourite barely moved for several minutes before travelling to Oudenaarde hospital, where he was diagnosed with a triple fracture of his right collarbone.

2010 champion Cancellara’s bad luck continues. He’d suffered a puncture earlier on the Molenberg; at last week’s GP E3-Harelbeke, he punctured and was T-boned by another rider.

“I’m convinced that he would have had a very good support in order to try to win this race. That’s really a shame but, at the same time, it’s bike racing,” team boss Johan Bruyneel told journalists at the finish.

Radioshack’s Roubaix rethink

As well as losing his Tour of Flanders shot, the crash dumps Cancellara out of Paris-Roubaix next weekend, forcing Radioshack-Nissan to rethink their strategy.

“It’s a different way of doing this race, without the big leader and one of the favourites,” Bruyneel said.

“It is what it is, we can’t change it… luckily he got that second place in Milan-San Remo, but the two cobbled Classics are really his races, so it means it’s basically a disaster.”

Radioshack maintained a presence in the race, with Gregory Rast placing eleventh. But the riders’ spirits were affected by Cancellara’s crash.

“Once they knew Fabian was out, the other guys lost their morale a little bit, you don’t have that conviction to fight.”

Swiss journalists also inform CW that this is the first time Cancellara has ever broken a bone.

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  • steve

    get well soon spartacus
    its not just radioshack that’ll need to rethink their tactics for next week,if last year was anything to go by,evryone else was just going to try and hang on cancellaras wheel and hope for the best.what now?

  • Mick Ballard

    A great shame for Fabian,the strongest rider in one day races,unique for a great time trialist in that he can sprint.It goes to show that no matter how good you are you still need luck and he seems to have had very little of that so far this year.Lets hope he makes a complete and fast recovery.

  • Lashan

    No worries Fabian you can come even stronger next year. Get well soon!!!