At yesterday's HEW Cyclassics one-day ProTour race in Hamburg, Germany, Italian supersprinter Alessandro Petacchi came to a fall and broke the little finger of his right hand. It happened with only 15 kilometres to go before the finish line, as the Fassa Bortolo rider was crossing the main difficulty for the day, the Waseberg, for the last time. His chain slipped and he crashed, causing him to abandon the race. Petacchi was immediately taken to a Hamburg hospital for x-rays, where his broken little finger was diagnosed.
Nevertheless, the Italian will still be able to take the start in the Eneco Tour of Benelux - formerly known as the Tour of the Netherlands - beginning Wednesday August 3. His team announced that, contrary to previous reports, Petacchi did not need to undergo surgery at the German hospital, where his nail was treated and the finger placed in a special, rigid bandage, with which he will return to racing on Wednesday.
In the same crash, which caused a split in the main bunch at the race in Hamburg yesterday, Geoffroy Lequatre (Crédit Agricole) suffered substantial injuries to his face. The Frenchman is reported to have several facial fractures and will not be able to return to racing for some time.