Hoste crashes out of Three Days of De Panne

Belgian examined at hospital after hard blow to the head

Leif Hoste (Katusha) was forced out of the Three Days of De Panne after a crash on stage one. The 33-year-old Belgian, who was using the race as a warm up for this weekend's Tour of Flanders, crashed hard, hitting his head. He lost at least one tooth, while also suffering a wound above his right eye.

He was taken to hospital where scans revealed no lasting damage. It is not yet clear whether he will race this weekend but he will undergo surgery tomorrow on his teeth.

"Leif suffered from a really bad fall," said Bart Leysen, Team Katusha's sport director

"He won't be able to finish the competition. Now he's at the hospital for more examinations, and especially suturing the bad wound over his eye. Tonight, after the medical response, we will decide if he can make some training [rides] before Ronde Van Vlaanderen or keep him for the race, where he is an important rider for us."

Hoste signed with Katusha for 2011 after four seasons with Lotto. He has finished fourth in Paris-Roubaix and has been a runner-up on three occasions in the Tour of Flanders.

His best result this season was seventh in Dwars doors Vlaanderen.

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