Debusschere out of Tour of Flanders

Lotto Soudal rider fractured bones in his back in Gent-Wevelgem crash

Dwars door Vlaanderen winner Jens Debusschere's Spring Classics campaign came to an end this week after examinations discovered two fractures on his spine caused by a crash in Gent-Wevelgem. The Belgian will miss the Tour of Flanders.

Debusschere crashed into a verge with 80km to go in Gent-Wevelgem, and it was initially thought he had only sustained bruises to his lower back and shoulder blade and a mild concussion. However, additional tests on Wednesday showed the fractures to the transverse process on his vertebrae.

“This is a huge disappointment of course," Debusschere said. "I planned to take another big step forward this Spring and I felt really good during the preparations. A crash in the Strade Bianche and a rib injury almost disturbed my Spring, but I had a good feeling in Tirreno-Adriatico, I managed to help Jürgen Roelandts in Milano-Sanremo and I was able to win Dwars Door Vlaanderen. I hoped to maintain that good shape the next few weeks, but unfortunately I crashed in Gent-Wevelgem.”

“I had really good legs past Sunday, perhaps I could have played a role in the finale. It’s still not clear how I crashed. My head, shoulder and especially my back are injured. I’ll need a few weeks to recover from these injuries. After that I’ll focus on the next part of the season."

Debusschere put his injuries into perspective: "For me this is painful, but compared to the grief of the families, friends and teammates of Antoine Demoitié and Daan Myngheer my injuries are peanuts.”

Demoitié died as a result of injuries sustained after crashing and then being hit by a race official's motorcycle, while Myngheer died after having a heart attack in Criterium International.

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