Rick Zabel breaks collarbone in crash on bike path

24-year-old German will undergo surgery to repair damage

Katusha-Alpecin revealed on Twitter that lead-out man Rick Zabel fractured his collarbone in a training crash on a bike path Tuesday and will undergo surgery in Cologne to repair the damage.

Zabel recently signed a fresh two-year contract with Katusha-Alpecin that will take him through 2020. The 24-year-old joined the team in 2017 after three years with BMC Racing. He came up through the Rabobank development team.

Zabel took his only pro win in 2015 during stage 3 at the Tour of Austria. He has since developed into a talented lead-out man for Katusha-Alpecin sprinters Alexander Kirstoff, who left for UAE Team Emirates this year, and Marcel Kittel, the team's current marquee fast man.

The team did not offer any details about how the crash occurred, how long Zabel will be off the bike or whether the injury will affect the start of his 2019 season.

Zabel had another scrape with injury earlier this year during a training a ride in June after colliding with a car while out near his home region of Germany. He escaped serious injury but cautioned motorists to watch out for cyclists.

"I really ask every cyclist, car driver, bus driver, motorcyclist or just in general everybody who‘s part of the daily traffic to have more respect for each other and better wait three seconds more than to take any risks, it‘s not worth it. We all just have one life," Zabel said at the time.

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