Bert Grabsch, a German Phonak rider who lives in Switzerland, suffered a sprain to the thumb/ball area of his left hand during a mass crash in the second stage of the Driedaagse van De Panne, according to Phonak's team physician Thomas Klimaschka. The injury isn't as bad as first thought, but Grabsch will nevertheless miss out on the Ronde van Vlaanderen, which was meant to be one of his season highlights.
The 30 year-old now hopes that the heavy swelling will go down quickly and that he will be fit again for Gent-Wevelgem on April 5 and Paris-Roubaix on April 9. Grabsch has travelled back to Switzerland on Thursday evening, where he will resume training as soon as possible. As a replacement, Phonak has named Ryder Hesjedal for the Ronde van Vlaanderen.