David Millar’s classics campaign was halted by a crash today in Belgium’s E3 Harelbeke race. He went off the side of the road with 70 kilometres to race and fractured his right collarbone.
“I’m obviously terribly disappointed,” Millar said in a press statement.
“The beginning of my season was based around the next three weeks of racing, starting with today! Its a big blow to have to bow out in this way, but I’ll have surgery tomorrow and after that, focus on my recovery and take it day by day. I still have a lot of goals for the season and at this point, just have to look ahead.”
Team Garmin’s sports director, Allan Peiper, told Cycling Weekly: “We stopped in the car, I got out and saw him standing there”.
“He said, ‘I think it’s broken.’ I said, ‘You really think so?’ And he replied, ‘Yeah, I’m pretty sure.’ It looked a bit out of whack as well.”
Jan Ghyselinck (Cofidis) also has a suspected fractured collarbone. Both he and Millar were part of a crash with Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar), Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Belisol), Jens Mouris (GreenEdge) and Sébastien Hinault (Ag2r).
Millar had been hoping to help his team captain Sep Vanmarcke through the northern classics, including next Sunday’s Tour of Flanders. Vanmarcke won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and was devastated when told of the news.
“What? Really? I didn’t know!” he told Cycling Weekly. “It will hurt because he’s really strong. Plus, we’ve already lost Ramunas [Navardauskas] for the classics. It only makes the team weaker.”
“It a really pity because he was good in San Remo looking after Heinrich [Haussler]. Then today, crashing out of Harelbeke when he had been at the front consistently,” Peiper added. “He was really motivated for the Classics and in form as well.”
After Millar had an X-Ray, the Peiper confirmed to Cycling Weekly he had a “cracked collarbone, not displaced, though.”