By Jonny Long
French sprinter Bryan Coquard has cracked his right scapula after crashing during a training ride in Calpe, Spain.
The 27-year-old has left B&B Hotels - Vital Concept's training camp with his arm in a sling and will now miss the Six Days of Berlin track meet next week. After a few days of rest, his team says he will resume training for the season ahead.
"We left for a six-hour outing and, while I was at the head of the group, my wheel went out from under me on a slippery corner," Coquard said in a statement. "I was not in too much pain but we decided to stop training there and to check out my injury.
"I quickly felt that the scapula was affected but it is much less painful than the last two times. I only suffer from a broken line, with no risk of displacement. I will hardly be handicapped in everyday life but I am forced to rest next week."
Luckily for Coquard, he doesn't expect the injury to hold him back for too long. "This does not affect my start to the season," Coquard explained. "Here in Spain, we have all worked well, alternating long outings and specific exercises. Compared to the previous two years, everyone is more serene, focused on the upcoming races. We are all looking forward to the start of the season."
The reason behind Vital Concept's more relaxed start to the season may be due to the team being announced as gaining one of the two wildcard spots for the 2020 Tour de France.
Arkéa-Samsic, who boast Nairo Quintana and Warren Barguil among their ranks, received the other invitation, with the usual third and fourth wildcard spots given to Total Direct Energie on account of them topping the UCI Pro-Continental rankings in 2019 and Cofidis stepping up to swell the WorldTour ranks to 19 teams.
This summer's Tour will see Coquard return to the race for the first time since 2016, having been left out of Total Direct Energie's squad in 2017 and being left disappointed after Vital Concept's omission from the wildcard invitations for the 2018 and 2019 editions.
Their invite for 2020 will also see Pierre Rolland return to the French Grand Tour after seeing a 10-year streak of finishing on the Champs-Élysées end, having joined Vital Concept at the start of the 2019 season.
The French climber has also recently been injured by a crash during a training ride. Only two kilometres from his home, Rolland fell on his face and briefly lost consciousness, concluding a 2019 that had already been blighted by injury.
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
Tweets of the week: Did Geraint Thomas run over a small child?
Also featuring Patrick Lefevere, Alex Dowsett and Rigoberto Urán
By Jonny Long •
'I had thoughts of just packing it all in': Gabriel Cullaigh's lonely experience and rejection with Movistar
The Yorkshireman explains why he was unable to deliver on the promise he showed at U23 level
By Chris Marshall-Bell •