After victory at Gent-Wevelgem and strong one-day performances so far this season, Peter Sagan has been billed as one of the top favourites for Sunday's Tour of Flanders, but his hopes were dealt a blow when Maciej Bodnar crashed and broke his jaw in a training ride on Saturday.
The Polish rider crashed in Kortrijk, suffering a double mandibular fracture and dislocation that requires surgery, according to a statement from his Tinkoff team.
"While Tinkoff's Tour of Flanders squad, led by Peter Sagan, was riding on the outskirts of Kortrijk, a small wooden stick lying on the road got tangled in Bodnar's front wheel," the statement read. "He was unable to react, and his bike spun out, sending him crashing face first into the road."
Bodnar may be able to leave the hospital on Monday, according to the team.
Bodnar has been one of Sagan's key domestiques this season and has been by his side in every race he's entered. He showed his form and power were in top shape ahead of De Ronde by winning the time trial at the Three Days of De Panne.
Already up against the collective might of Etixx-QuickStep, not to mention the strong Trek-Segafredo and BMC squads of Fabian Cancellara and Greg Van Avermaet, respectively, the loss of Bodnar is a significant blow for the world champion.