Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Fabian Cancellara out of Flanders and Roubaix due to broken vertebrae

Trek Factory Racing star to miss Mounuments after crash during today's E3 Harelbeke...

Trek Factory Racing’s Fabian Cancellara Classics season came to an end after he crashed and broke two vertebrae during today's edition of the E3 Harelbeke.

The crash that will rule Cancellara out of the Tour of Flanders a week on Sunday and Paris-Roubaix seven days after that was due to a stray water bottle on cobbled descent just 40 kilometres into the race.

Afterwards, in a statement released by his team, he said: “It all happened so fast. Someone slammed the brakes and there was no way to go, just straight into it. I flew over a couple of riders and then landed in a pile of bikes. There were riders everywhere.

“I fell so hard, and felt pain everywhere. It was sort of reflex to get back on the bike but the pain was hard, in my lower back, left wrist, and my ribs on the back.

Cancellara kept riding for a few kilometres but was forced to abandon. “I felt right away that it was a serious crash, but I wanted to try to keep going,” he explained. “I had to stop; the pain was too much.

“We went to the hospital for scans and this confirmed the pain,” said the Swiss rider, who is confirmed as having sustained two transverse process vertebrae fractures in his lower back. 

“There is nothing you can do with this injury – no cast, no surgery – but just biting the pain,” he added.

Team manager Luca Guercilena said:“These are things that happen in cycling, and that everyone has to deal with sooner or later.

“But we know how much Fabian is important for us, so we are of course very dejected to hear this news.

“First what is the most important is his health, and that he takes of that so he can return 100 per cent again.  And then for the rest, it’s time for all the other riders to step up – as they now have possibilities – and perform well.

“Certainly it’s not great news for our team, but that does not mean it’s over,” he added. We have some very good riders that will now have their chances.”

With Etixx-Quick Step’s Tom Boonen also out after separating his shoulder in a crash at Paris-Nice earlier this month, both Monuments will now be missing the only two men ever to have won both races in the same season twice.

Between them, they have a total of 13 victories, and 13 other podium placings, in the two races. Their absence will be lamented by fans, but will also give encouragement to riders with eyes on winning one or both races – among them today’s winner, Geraint Thomas of Team Sky, whose victory confirms his continued great form.

Simon joined 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.

Add new comment


Judge dreadful | 9 years ago

I was watching this in the Rapha cc today. That was an awkward fall. He was down for ages.

othello | 9 years ago

Similar injury to Standard last year, and he was out for a while.  2

Latest Comments