Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland had hoped to be on the podium after the men's road race at the 2012 London Olympics, but instead ended up in the hospital on Saturday afternoon. A crash with about 15 km to go crushed his plans and put his ride in Wednesday's time trial into question.
Cancellara was in the lead group, near the front, when he either misjudged a left-hand turn or braked improperly. He flew into the barriers, landing hard on his right shoulder, with eventual gold-medal winner Alexander Vinokourov right behind him.
The Swiss rider got back up and onto his bike, but was soon back in the field, and then out the back to the race doctor's car. He had not only lost a chunk of skin on his right elbow, but was riding mostly one-handed, holding his right arm to his body in a way that suggested a fractured collarbone or injured shoulder.
He finally crossed the finish line about five minutes after Vinokourov, although not last. There he sought solace with a team staff member, as he sobbed in pain and disappointment. Cancellara was then put in an ambulance and taken to hospital.
Cancellara suffered a quadruple fracture of that same right collarbone earlier this year, when he crashed in the Tour of Flanders. He missed nearly two months of racing whilst recovering. In the Tour de France he won the prologue and wore the leader's yellow jersey for seven stages.