George Hincapie has confirmed that he suffered a broken collarbone during the Tour de France, after undergoing x-rays on Tuesday.
Hincapie announced the news through Twitter on Tuesday morning. "Got some bad news this am. X ray confirmed my collarbone is broken," read the post.
The Columbia-HTC rider suffered the injury in a crash on July 22, during the Tour's stage 17 from Bourg Saint Maurice to Le Grand Bornand. Cyclingnews spoke to Hincapie a day after his crash, prior to his start in the stage 18 individual time trial in Annecy.
"It’s about survival," he said. "I don't know if can even get down in the time trial position. It’s about survival and to get better in the next few days. I rode the last 70km injured yesterday but I was able to ride, I was in pain but I could get out of the saddle. I'm hoping I can do the same in the next few days."
In spite of his injuries, Hincapie rode the final four stages of the Grand Tour. The 36-year-old continued his lead out support for team captain, Mark Cavendish, who claimed six stages during the Tour, including stages 18 and 21.
Hincapie's crash occurred four days after he came within five seconds of the Tour lead on stage 14. He had been part of a day-long breakaway but fell agonisingly close to the yellow jersey at the finish in Besançon.
"I'm disappointed I didn't get it [yellow]," Hincapie told Cyclingnews in Annecy. "I'm not the sort of person to start wars in the press or anything so I don't want to reflect on who did what or why. I'm just disappointed that I was so close and that it was one of my last opportunities to wear yellow."
Hincapie missed out on the race leader's jersey after the teams of then leader, Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale), and Garmin-Slipstream moved to the front of the bunch. At the time Garmin's involvement in the chase provoked an angry response from Columbia team manager, Bob Stapleton. However Hincapie wouldn't be drawn on the strategy employed by rival teams.
"Maybe there were some questionable decisions made by other teams," said Hincapie afterwards. "In the sense that they had no benefits in keeping me that close so that’s just racing. You can't ever predict or sway other people’s tactics."
Hincapie completed the Tour de France on Sunday in Paris. He finished in 19th place on general classification. 2009 marked his fourteenth participation in the Tour.