Just as Team CSC's Matti Breschel saw his chance to take his first pro victory, the young talent had to abandon his dream as an ugly crash only 50 meters before the finish line in the third stage of Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen forced the Danish rider off his bike, as well as rival Robbie McEwen.
"It simply couldn't be more unlucky," said sports director Tristan Hoffman. "Matti had the opportunity to win this stage and thereby enough bonus seconds to also win the race overall. He'd already beat Robbie McEwen in the last intermediate sprint, so there's no doubt he was flying today. He'll get his victory one day soon and the most important thing now is to get Matti back on his feet as soon as possible."
Further examinations at the hospital in Torhout have revealed fractures on Breschel's seventh and eight vertebrae, meaning that the young rider will be out for at least 3-4 weeks. McEwen suffered abrasions and bruising, but will have a full checkup in the Geraardsbergen hospital to determine whether there are any more serious injuries.
The final stage of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen with start and finish in Ichtegem was won by Nico Eeckhout (Chocolade Jacques), who also won the race overall.