Etixx-Quick Step have confirmed that Tom Boonen is out of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix Classics after he crashed at Paris-Nice today, sustaining a dislocated shoulder that will keep him off his bike for between three and six weeks.
The Belgian former world champion fell following a crash in the rear of the peloton with around 16 kilometres left of today’s Stage 1 of the race from Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse to Contres, won by Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff.
The 34-year-old held his right arm to his left shoulder in what is typically the sign of a collarbone fracture, the incident caught by TV cameras. That turned out not to be the case, with examinations at the Centre Hopitalier in Blois revealing he had sustained a left acromioclavicular (AC) joint dislocation.
In a statement released this evening, team doctor Yvan van Mol said:
An AC-joint dislocation, as we've already seen with other riders of the team with the same kind of injury, requires an extended time of recovery due to the nature of the injury.
Unfortunately, because of the injury and the time it takes to recover, Boonen will not be able to participate in the Northern Classics. Tomorrow Tom will undergo further examination in Belgium to diagnose the grade of the dislocation and determine if surgery is necessary based on the grade.
It's the same type of injury that his team mate Mark Cavendish sustained at in a crash at the end of Stage 1 of the Tour de France in Harrogate last year.
It could not come at a worse time for the Boonen who has won the Tour of Flanders three times, with that race just under four weeks away, and followed seven days later by Paris-Roubaix, which he has won on four occasions.
Boonen was defending champion at both races in 2013 but crashed out of Flanders and was discovered to have fractured a rib, which kept him out of Roubaix the following week.
His great rival over the cobbles, Fabian Cancellara, won both events that year, joining Boonen, who had achieved the feat 12 months earlier, as the only man to win both monuments in the same season twice.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.