American duo Ryan Trebon and James Driscoll had the worst possible start to their race Monday in Middelkerke, Belgium. Both riders fell to the asphalt in the first metres of the race when a rider crashed in front of them.
"This idiot tries to squeeze [through on the] left, hits a spectator and crashes right in front of me. I was run over," said Trebon to Cyclingnews of the start. "I was on the front row, but when they go down in front of you, there is not much you can do."
Trebon, riding for Kona, was able to re-enter the race quicker than Driscoll, but they both were far away from the action. One of Driscoll's wheels had four broken spokes and he had to ease it through the course to reach the pits. He closed the day in 32nd after officials pulled him in the final lap.
Trebon improved throughout the race despite a bloodied left knee and a scuffed right shoulder he finished 15th.
"I was dead last and I had to chase all day. ... My elbow is sore. It is cold enough where you can't feel it during the race. That is the good part, I guess, but I will feel it tonight."
Driscoll is afraid that he might not be at the start with Trebon at Tuesday's race in Loenhout. If he does not start, his European campaign including a 26th in the Zolder World Cup could be over.
"It was a bummer; we will have to see what my wrist will do. I am worried about it," said Driscoll. "During the race it did not feel that bad, but think it was because I was amped up."
The 22-year-old will travel home on January 5 for the start of the school year. He will not race the World Championships on February 1 in The Netherlands.
Trebon plans to start in Loenhout, where he finished 21st in 2007. He then will travel to Alicante, Spain, for a warm-weather training camp with American and housemate Jeremy Powers. They will be back north for the World Cup in Roubaix, France, on January 18.