Sep Vanmarcke has had to put an end to his disappointing spring season, as Cannondale-Drapac announced that he will not be able to start Paris-Roubaix this coming weekend. The Belgian, who has three times finished in the top five at the race, is still suffering from injuries sustained in a crash at the Tour of Flanders.
"My hands are the biggest problem," Vanmarcke said in the team press release. "The broken pinky on my right hand makes it impossible to put my hands on top of the bars. I can put them on the brakes, and I can brake with two fingers. But each time I hit a bump or anything, it's painful.
"The larger problem is my left hand, because the skin is off every finger. I cannot brake with that hand — it's just too painful to put the pressure on it. Also, my right knee is still a problem. It would make no sense to be at the start line. I lost a lot of skin off it."
Vanmarcke started the spring season with a promising third place in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, but things went downhill rapidly from there.
"I'm really, really disappointed. I start training for these races on the first of November. My focus is always on these races. Omloop went well, but from Strade Bianche I started to go wrong. A crash, the ribs, then I had the stomach problems, then this crash. So I've been fighting a lot, and always coming back," Vanmarcke said.
"It's a disappointment. I was never on my top level, and I could never show what level I was at."
The team also said that no decision had yet been made as to Taylor Phinney's participation in Paris-Roubaix. He suffered a concussion in a crash in Flanders, and has been held out of racing since. ThE team said the final decision would be made after the team's recon ride on Thursday.