Katusha-Alpecin’s Rick Zabel breaks collarbone in off-season crash

The German will undergo surgery after crashing on a bike path

Rick Zabel has suffered a setback after a crash in the off-season Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Katusha-Alpecin rider Rick Zabel has broken his collarbone in an off-season crash.

The 24-year-old came down hard while on a training ride with friends and will need surgery to fix the break.

Zabel, son of retired sprinter Erik Zabel, crashed on a leafy bike path, landing hard on his right shoulder.

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In an Instagram post, the German said: “Bad news – broken collarbone.

“The day started so good with a cool training ride with my mates but towards the end of the training I crashed hard on a bike path with a lot of leaves on it.

“I felt the pain in my right shoulder and I knew something was wrong.

"Thanks to my training mates who helped me out after the crash.

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“I’m in good hands now with Dr Dirk Tenner and his staff, tomorrow is the operation to fix my right collarbone and then I’ll know more about everything.

“It’s a big setback as I was preparing for the new cycling season.”

Zabel has also been forced to pull out of the Shanghai Critérium this weekend.

He added: “Back to zero, recover from injury and then start all over again.”

Zabel is due to undergo surgery in Cologne on Wednesday.

A key lead-out rider for fellow German Marcel Kittel, Zabel rode the Dubai and Abu Dhabi tours in the early season, before going on to the Tour de France and Tour of Britain.

His last race of the year was the Münsterland Giro.

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Zabel's Katusha-Alpecin team said: “Unfortunately Rick crashed hard today in training on a bike path.

“Diagnosis: broke collarbone.

“He will be operated on tomorrow in Cologne.

“Get well soon Rick.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.