Another name to add to the growing sick-list in De Panne is Liberty Seguros-Würth's Carlos Barredo, who suffered a fractured radius in his left arm during yesterday's second stage of the KBC Driedaagse van De Panne-Koksijde, with the initial prognosis suggesting he will need four to six weeks to recover. The Spaniard's hopes of riding this Sunday's Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix next weekend have now been dashed, which has depressed the 24 year-old no end. Team-mate Javier Ramirez Abeja was also a victim of the crash and was lucky to come away with haematomas, but no broken bones.
"The fall happened in a cobbled section on the descent," Barredo began to explain as he walked out of the hospital with his arm in a cast. "I was in the first 25 in the pack and we fell with around 30 or 40 other riders. I am deeply depressed... so much time thinking about these races and so much work for nothing. I feel impotent."
Despite his injury, Barredo tried to continue with his team-mate Abeja before a policeman ordered them both to abandon. "I took a new bike and wanted to think that it was nothing. I had to change the seat, which also broke, and we continued to race for another 40 kilometres, but I could neither brake nor hold onto the bars."
Upon his arrival at the hospital in at Oudenaarde, it was confirmed Barredo had a fracture of the third distal in his left radius that would require a plaster cast, which would see the 24 year-old out of competition for four to six weeks.
On a brighter note, Luis León Sanchez moved into third overall and is just 35 seconds behind new leader Bernhard Eisel, the Française des Jeux rider winning yesterday's stage into Oostduinkerke. Today's split stage concludes with a 12 kilometre time trial, and with only five riders within a minute of the leader, Sanchez is tipped - and has tipped himself - as one of the favourites to win overall.