Fabian Cancellara, odds-on favourite to follow up his success at the Tour of Flanders last weekend by winning Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, has sustained his second crash in two days. Today's chute, which saw the rider land heavily on his left side was caught on film - you can watch it here.
Yesterday, the RadioShack-Leopard rider suffered some nasty looking road rash on his backside after coming down during the Scheldeprjs, while today’s chute happened during a recce ride on one of Paris-Roubaix’s fabled secteurs of pavé.
After the crash, which happened on the Waindignies-Hamage cobbled secteur, according to Het Nieuwsblad he got into the team car where he sat, with a disconsolate look on his face, with directeur sportive Dirk Demol, although he rejoined his team mates on the recce later on.
Speaking after yesterday’s crash, team manager Luca Guercilena said: Team manager Luca Guercilena: “It was a typical crash. Just a small touch of the wheels and he went down. We decided he could continue in the race and we are having the doctor take a look at him. We’ll see how he’s feeling tonight and tomorrow.
“Since the crash was as 60kph he was a bit uncomfortable in the race but was able to continue. His muscles were warm at the time of the accident so it was no real problem for him to go on.
“We will be doing some recon tomorrow and we believe we can stick with our same plan. We’re quite confident that everything will be fine. It’s not ideal, but it’s fine.”
Last Sunday, Cancellara made a stunning attack on the final ascent of the Paterberg to drop Peter Sagan and Jurgen Roelandts and time trial the final 13 kilometres to a stunning victory.
A week earlier, he had won the E3 Harelbeke with another solo attack, and that form has seen him installed as a red-hot favourite for Paris-Roubaix, a race he has won twice before.
Should the bookies be proved correct, Cancellara will emulate Tom Boonen’s achievement last year, when he became the first man to do the Flanders and Roubaix season double in two different years.
Boonen is out of Sunday’s race as he recovers from injuries sustained after crashing during the Tour of Flanders.
The team has not yet made a statement on today’s latest fall, although it has posted some pictures of the recce – including an upright Cancellara – on its website.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.