Lawson Craddock on the start podium of the E3 Saxo Bank Classic moments before disaster struck

Lawson Craddock breaks hand riding off start podium before E3 Classic

The American fell after tripping over cables as he made his way from the team presentation

by Jonny Long

Lawson Craddock’s Classics are “over before they’ve even begun” after the American rider crashed and broke his hand following the sign-on at the E3 Saxo Bank Classic.

After the team presentation, Craddock and his BikeExchange-Jayco team-mates were making their way off the podium before the start of the one-day race, when the 30-year-old tripped over a cable cover and landed on his hand, suffering a fracture.

“Obviously a really disappointing start to the Classics for me. Coming away from the team presentation I went over some of the cable covers on the ground. The way I hit them popped my back wheel in the air and I went over the handlebars and landed with my hand directly on my chest,” Craddock said afterwards.

Craddock tried to get back on his bike and at least start the race, but he could barely stand up, let alone hold his handlebars.

“Immediately, there’s a lot of pain in the chest and a lot of pain in the hand, and then we thought maybe see how it feels, but I tried to ride again but couldn’t really hold the handlebars or stand up or anything,” he explained. “So, of course, it’s better to be safe in that situation and not take the start. I went to the hospital and they confirmed the fracture of the fifth metacarpal of the right hand.

“[It’s] really disappointing…for me the Classics are over before they’ve even begun. Now it’s about re-evaluating the immediate future and seeing where we go from here.”

Craddock is no stranger to making mishaps into headlines, rising to fame when he rode the entire 2018 Tour de France with a fractured shoulder blade after a crash on the opening stage. He finished dead last and became the lanterne rouge of the race, four and a half hours in arrears to winner Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers). He did, however, manage to raise $238,000 for the Alkek Velodrome in Houston by opening a GoFundMe for people to donate as he battled on across the three weeks.

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