Despite perfect racing weather, this year's edition of the Ronde van Vlaanderen was filled with crashes because of the high speeds and nervous energy of the peloton. Milram's Erik Zabel was one of many who had to drop out after making contact with the pavement and ending up with light injuries to his arm and hip. "I have no idea what happened, it all went so quickly," he said on the team's website, team-milram.de. "At the fastest part of the whole race, it caught Fabian Wegmann first I believe, and then I flew over him."
Zabel's team-mate Marcel Sieberg went down in a crash at the feed zone and decided to continue riding despite an injured wrist and knee. "But the pain was so strong that I decided to drop out," he said.
The team is waiting for a final diagnosis on both riders, but isn't too worried. "Zabel is okay. His hip hurts and he has some abrasions," team spokeswoman Sandra Schmitz told Cyclingnews. "Sieberg is fine, too. His wrist hurts and his knee is swollen."
Wegmann also had to abandon after the crash which also took down Zabel. The German was not seriously injured, but lost a lot of skin. His team-mate Heinrich Haussler was involved in a crash early in the race, but was able to continue riding to the end with minor injuries.
Team T-Mobile had 'only' one injury. Lorenzo Bernucci crashed on train crossing near the end of the race, and although it looked bad, "fortunately there is nothing broken," spokesman Stefan Wagner told Cyclingnews. The Italian came away with a bruised left hip and a lot of scrapes, but shouldn't miss any racing time.
Vicente Reynes (Caisse d’Epargne) was the victim of a crash at kilometre 150, and suffered a painful contusion on his coccyx (tailbone). According to the team doctor, Alfredo Zuñiga, there is no apparent fracture, but if the pain persists in the next few days, the rider from Mallorca will undergo further tests.