Dries Devenyns has confirmed the widely-predicted news that he will not be fit to take his place on the start line at Milan-San Remo this Saturday. The 28-year-old Belgian crashed on the penultimate stage of Paris-Nice last Saturday in what appeared at the time to be a nasty fall.
X-rays taken by a specialist in his homeland on Monday have revealed a fracture in his right shoulder and it is not known when the Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider might return to the road. Devenyns was seen as a key part of the support for Tom Boonen in this weekend's race, so his absence is a blow on both a personal and collective level.
"This is a terrible time for me," explained Devenyns. "I was really enjoying a period of top form and I was ready to race Milan-San Remo. Unfortunately these things happen and there's nothing I can do about it; considering the seriousness of the fall, it could have been even worse. Now my goal is to try to heal well and get back to the races as soon as possible."
Tom Boonen leads a strong Omega Pharma-QuickStep line-up for Saturday's race. The Belgian began his season with strong performances in Argentina and Qatar, and he highlighted his form with an impressive showing at Paris-Nice. As well as winning the opening road stage, Boonen was prominent in pace-setting on the climbs for his leaders Levi Leipheimer and Sylvain Chavanel.
"In this first part of the season Tom has proven to be in top form. He even shone in the recent Paris Nice, winning the stage in Orleans and then he followed this up by doing a great job for Levi Leipheimer," said directeur sportif Davide Bramati.
Omega Pharma-QuickStep team for Milan-San Remo (March 17): Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel, Gerald Ciolek, Nikolas Maes, Jerome Pineau, Niki Terpstra, Stijn Vandenbergh, Peter Velits.