Liquigas rider Magnus Backstedt must be starting to wonder what he did to warrant such bad luck in 2006. The big Swede crashed on the opening stage of his first race of the season, suffering an almost career-threatening knee injury.
After rehabilitation, Backstedt fought his way back to fitness so quickly that his Liquigas team had him on the start line of the Tour de France in Strasbourg. He finished his season well and was looking forward to a busy winter on the track only for everything to come unstuck once again.
While preparing behind the derny for the madison, Backstedt and his young Swedish protegé Freddie Johansson of the Plowman Craven Racing Team tangled on a high speed change. As a result both riders were taken to hospital.
Backstedt suffered a severely separated shoulder due to the impact, but was discharged on Friday night. The injury will take some weeks to heal and doctors are still considering whether to operate on the 2004 Paris Roubaix winner. Backstedt said, "It was just one of those things that can and does go wrong with madison changes sometimes. As soon as I sat up from the crash, I knew I'd done something pretty serious to my shoulder." Twenty-year-old Johansson remains in hospital with some neck injuries and a broken bone in his hand. He will undergo a CT scan and further tests on Monday.