After a good showing in the first half of yesterday's Tour of Flanders, BMC's Karsten Kroon crashed badly with 87 kilometres to go, breaking his left collarbone. The Dutchman fell over another rider who went down because of a roadsign.
"There was a 'no parking' sign on the sidewalk that wasn't very high, so you couldn't see it," Kroon said on the team's website. "He ran straight into it and I crashed right into him."
The 35-year-old also suffered injuries to his face and lip. But on top of the physical pain was the disappointment of not being able to continue his Spring Classics campaign. "It is so painful that I'm out of competition during my most important time in the season," Kroon commented. "This should have been my month, but now I can just forget about my early season."
Last year, he was similarly unlucky when a crash in the Flèche Wallonne caused him to miss out on Liège-Bastogne-Liège. This season, the 2009 Amstel Gold Race runner-up intended to peak for the Ardennes Classics.
Kroon broke the same shoulder ten years ago and already has a plate in it. The team's chief medical officer Dr. Max Testa said a decision on whether to operate is still to come.