Toyota-United's Henk Vogels will spend six weeks out of action, having broken his collarbone at the weekend's Cougar Mountain Classic. The Australian rider had been attempting to bridge to a break in the criterium when he struck a crowd control fence at the Infineon Raceway venue.
"My shoulder hit it and I heard it snap," recalled Vogels. "Hopefully, it's more on the six weeks side. Fortunately, it was a clean break so I didn't have to have an operation."
When the break containing teammate Ivan Dominguez lapped the field, the Cuban sprinter started searching for his lead-out man. "It never crossed my mind that he was no longer in the race," Dominguez said.
"You deflate when you're rolling through the finish and see your teammate lying on the ground," added Ryan Miller.
Toyota-United manager Kirk Willett described the loss of Vogels as a huge blow. "He is one of the best in the world at what he does," Willett said. "The fact that he has played a pivotal role all year in delivering Stevic and Dominguez to so many top placings makes our pursuit of the Team NRC title an even greater challenge. We are going to have to fill a big horsepower and leadership hole as a team."
The squad hopes a speedy recovery by Vogels will see him return to action by September - just in time for the inaugural Tour of Missouri. "I'm optimistic that with any luck, a speedy recovery will see Henk able to start training within a month and racing in late August or early September," Willett concluded.