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André Greipel dislocated his shoulder in a training crash in Germany, his Israel Start-Up Nation team has announced.
The injury will sideline Greipel for the next three months, forcing him to miss the spring Classics.
Greipel explained the circumstances surrounding the crash, which occurred while was riding with teammate Rick Zabel near Cologne, in a statement from the team.
“A car came in our direction so we went single file on a small road,” Gripel said. “There was water and mud on the road and somehow I came off the road and lost my balance. My front wheel slipped, and I slid towards a rock with my head and shoulder first.”
Further evaluation showed “significant damage to his left shoulder.” Greipel is expected to require surgery.
“It’s definitely a big set back for Greipel and the team,” said Israel Start-Up Nation manager Kjell Carlstrom in a statement. “He started the season so well in the Tour Down Under and showed what kind of a leader he is for the team. We already lost two riders for months to severe injuries – Rory Sutherland and Ben Hermans. So it’s definitely bad news and something we will need to overcome but it will not be easy.”
Greipel signed with Israel Start-up Nation for this season after one year at Arkéa-Samsic. The 37-year-old German speedster may be best known for his sprinting exploits, but he is a well-documented lover of Classics racing. He had been expected to play a featured role on the pavé alongside fellow newcomer Nils Politt this year, but will now miss the cobbled events as he recovers from his injury.