A crash that took out Caleb Manion less than 15 miles from the finish of Saturday night's Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium dashed the hopes of the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team. The 26-year-old Australian suffered a fractured right clavicle (collar bone) and will miss the remainder of the season.
"If we don't have that crash with Caleb, it's a different race," Toyota-United Team Director Kirk Willett said. "We were pretty deflated after seeing him go down." Just before his crash, Manion was riding in a breakaway of about 15 riders that included his Toyota-United teammate, Chris Wherry. With about 12 laps remaining in the 40-lap, 50-mile race National Race Calendar and U.S.A. Crits Championship Series event, Manion crashed out on one of the eight turns on the 1.2-mile course through Charlotte City Center. "That was a pretty big blow," Willett said. "We just can't seem to avoid misfortune."
At the time of Manion's crash, Toyota-United was working hard to keep Ivan Dominguez – who won this race in its first running in 2004 – in contention for what was hoped to be a field sprint. But Manion's crash demoralized his teammates, Willett said, and decimated the horsepower necessary to bring back a late-race attack by eventual winner Frank Pipp (Health Net presented by Maxxis). Jesse Anthony (Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada Pro Cycling) second and Yosvany Falcon (AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork Professional Cycling Team) was third.
Manion's injury is the latest in a long list of maladies that have kept Toyota-United from racing at full strength for much of the season. As well as losing Mark Scanlon to family matters, the following Toyota United riders are on the injured list:
- Heath Blackgrove (leg injury), 11 weeks
- Bobby Lea (leg surgery), eight weeks
- Ivan Dominguez (back, rib injuries), eight weeks
- Chris Wherry (relapse of parasite), six weeks
- Ivan Stevic (knee pain), six weeks
- Sean Sullivan (knee pain), three weeks
- Henk Vogels (broken glenoid), eight weeks
- Caleb Manion (broken clavicle), expected eight weeks