Cancellara out of E3 Harelbeke after crash

Three-time winner Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) was forced to abandon E3 Harelbeke after crashing in the first half of the race.

Last year’s Tour of Flanders winner came down in a fall involving Lars Boom and John Degenkolb.

He was in a lot of pain following the crash but remounted and reconnected with the peloton. He could be seen shaking his hand, as if he'd hurt his wrist but the team haven't confirmed if it was injured. They did post a Tweet confirming that the Swiss rider had abandoned. “Unfortunately Fabian Cancellara has abandoned the race after his crash. We will keep you informed on his situation as soon as possible.”

Team director Dirk Demol said that Cancellara would likely miss Gent-Wevelgem and could be out of the Tour of Flanders, too, in an interview with Sporza.

There was a massive crash on the Haaghoek. He severely hurt his lower back, his left wrist and hand," Demol said. "Did he say his spring classics were over? No, Cancellara was able to get in the car. We can forget about Sunday [Gent-Wevelgem]. I’m also worried about the next races. He’s a fighter. If he can then he will race.”

Sporza’s reporter Renaat Schotte was on the motorbike and described the crash. “It happened on the cobbles of the Haaghoek. There’s a descending part and then an uphill part. They were at the bottom when a bottle and a Lotto-Soudal rider caused the crash. The bottle must’ve popped out and caused a crash in which about 40 to 50 riders were affected.

"I saw a Movistar rider crawling out of the ditch which is about 3 to 4 metres deep over there. Niccolo Bonifazio (Lampre), Sebastian Langeveld (Cannondale) and Robert Wagner (LottoNL) were transported to the hospital but I understood they are alright. Boom and Degenkolb were on the ground too but they were quickly back on their bike. Cancellara was sitting at the side of the road for a very long time. He was looking at his wrist.”

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