Luke Durbridge ruled out for remainder of cobbled Classics after crash

Mitchelton-Scott rider fractured collarbone and finger at De Panne on Wednesday

Australian rider Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott) has been ruled out for the remainder of the spring Classics season after fracturing both his collarbone and finger in a collision with a tree at the Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne on Wednesday.

At the same time, Mitchelton-Scott reported that Alex Edmondson, who was also set to feature at the one-day Classics, has not recovered from an injury sustained in a crash at the GP Industria and Artianato in Italy in early March, and will also miss the rest of the spring campaign.

Despite trying to remain upbeat and conceding that such bad luck is part and parcel of bike racing, Durbridge nevertheless described himself as "devastated and upset" at having to miss this spring's races.

"I have broken my collarbone and my left finger," the 27-year-old said in a statement from the team. "I am a bit devastated to be missing the Classics, obviously, as they're my favourite races of the year, and it's really upsetting, but this is cycling and it can happen like that sometimes.

"I'll have surgery tomorrow, and we will assess things from there," the Australian time trial champion continued. "I'm sad to leave the boys up here in Belgium, but I'll be back, and we'll fight for these races again next year, I'm sure."

Mitchelton-Scott team doctor David Hulse added that both of Durbridge's fractures would require surgery, while also giving more details about the crash.

"Luke was involved in a fall today, in which he also collided with a tree," Dr Hulse said. "After being quickly assessed by the race medical team and transferred to the designated hospital, scans have revealed he has sustained a clean fracture to his right collarbone, which will require a plate, and a 'boxer' fracture to his left hand.

"Both will require surgery, which will be completed at a hospital specialising in the treatment of cyclists tomorrow. The recovery time for Luke will be assessed following further advice from the surgeon tomorrow. The presence of the two separate injuries obviously makes for extra consideration," he said.

Regarding Edmondson's injury, Dr Hulse added that the 25-year-old had suffered a secondary injury to his elbow, having ridden Tirreno-Adriatico following his crash, but pulling out on stage 4 having helped his team win the team time trial on the opening stage.

"Alex has ulnar nerve symptoms following an elbow re-injury that causes him discomfort when he grips the bars or levers. The force required to ride on the cobbles would intensify this, and therefore a decision has been made for him to withdraw.  Alex will see a specialist in the coming days to determine the best course of action for recovery from here."

Edmondson said that he was disappointed to be missing out on the spring Classics, which had been a target for him this year.

"Obviously I'm completely gutted to be out of the Classics due to my elbow," he said. "I crashed at the GP Industria and Artigianato, which was a nothing crash, but I landed hard on the inside of my elbow and have been having a lot of issues with the nerves and pain in my arm.

"The Classics were a big goal of mine, which makes it even harder to swallow, but I have to listen to the medical staff, as at the end of the day my health comes first.

"I won't be in Belgium for the Classics, but now I'll be sitting on my couch cheering on the Mitchelton-Scott boys. It's time for some rehab and to focus on the next goals," said Edmondson.

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