Hoffman out for the classics

The main casualty of the first Belgian race of the season was Dutch classics specialist Tristan...

The main casualty of the first Belgian race of the season was Dutch classics specialist Tristan Hoffman (CSC), who crashed halfway through the race and suffered an open fracture on his left shin. At first Hoffman was taken to the hospital in Geraardsbergen, but was later transferred to the University Hospital in Gent, where he will undergo surgery on Saturday evening.

"It's going to be a while before Tristan gets back on his bike. We already know for sure, that he won't ride any of the spring classics this year," stated Team CSC's team doctor Joost De Maeseneer.

CSC started the day well with Jakob Piil getting into the main break of the day, but by the end it was only Allan Johansen who managed to make the front group. "It was definitely not a great day for us," said Team CSC sports director Kim Andersen. "Lars Michaelsen got stomach cramps and had no chance of keeping up, and Tristan Hoffman was involved in a serious crash. Piil did well in the early break, but in the final part we had no riders making a difference. With a bit of luck, we could have had a couple of riders in the front group, but today that wasn't meant to be. Allan Johansen is getting better all the time, and he really did well today. In general I'm optimistic about our classics squad, but of course Hoffman will sorely missed this spring."

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