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by Shane Stokes
March 28, 2015
Photography by Cor Vos
Victim of a big crash which put several riders out of the race, Fabian Cancellara has been forced to retire from the E3 Harelbeke and faces hospital scans to determine the extent of his injuries.
His Trek Factory Racing directeur sportif Dirk Demol has said that the Swiss rider will be unable to ride Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem and that there is a possibility that he will have to miss the other spring Classics, his top goals of the season.
Cancellara hit the deck inside the opening 40 kilometres, falling on the cobbles of the Haaghoek. While he was able to remount and chase back on, he was visibly in pain and was riding with his left arm off the handlebars, taking pressure off his wrist.
He then decided to retire. Some reports have said that upon getting into his team car, Cancellara said that his spring Classics campaign was over.
According to directeur sportif Dirk Demol, the latter is not true.
“On Sunday [for Gent-Wevelgem] we can all make an X [non-participation – ed.] and also for the Ronde it does not look good,” said Demol to Sporza.
“But it is not true that Fabian said when boarding the car that spring is over. He’s a fighter.”
The medical examinations will make the situation more clear. In the meantime Cancellara’s team and fans will keep fingers crossed that his injuries are not as severe as they might be.
Milan-San Remo winner John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), Lars Boom (Lotto (Astana), Sebastian Langeveld (Cannondale-Garmin) were among the victims of the same crash.
Langeveld immediately left the race was taken to the hospital. Other riders ruled out of the race were Lampre-Merida’s Niccolo Bonifazio, fifth in Milan-San Remo, Robert Wagner (LottoNL-Jumbo), Vegard Breen and Gert Dockx (Lotto Soudal), Andrey Amador and Imanol Erviti (both Movistar).
Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) also retired with injury, although it appears this was sustained in a later fall.
Cancellara previously won the E3 race in 2010, 2011 and 2013.