Belgian Rik Verbrugghe suffered a potentially career-ending broken collarbone after crashing at the Clásica San Sebastian on Saturday. The 34 year-old Cofidis rider will be without contract at the end of 2008 and was hoping to impress prospective employers at the Vuelta a España.
"This is yet another mentally heavy blow," Verbrugghe told Sporza. "I will see the surgeon on Monday and will probably undergo surgery on Tuesday. I still dare not say whether my season will be finished. We'll see how it ends."
Verbrugghe revealed that he had already spoken with Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere about a possible contract for next season, but now fears that his professional career may be at an end. "I do not want to ride just for the sake of it, I want a good contract," he said.
"I have spoken to Patrick Lefevere, but he already has 24 riders and he wants to wait and see what happens with the riders from Gerolsteiner and Crédit Agricole."
Both Crédit Agricole and Gerolsteiner are unlikely to continue next season after attempts to find replacement sponsors have not been successful. Crédit Agricole manager Roger Legeay announced yesterday that he would allow his riders to seek offers from other teams, while Gerolsteiner manager Hans-Michael Holczer is expected reveal the fate of his team next week.