Cummings breaks elbow on opening stage of Baloise Belgium Tour

Stephen Cummings (BMC Racing Team)

Stephen Cummings (BMC Racing Team) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/

In the closing kilometres of the the opening stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour, BMC's Philippe Gilbert was animating the race by bridging across to a three-man breakaway but back in the chasing peloton,  it was bad news for the team and Stephen Cummings.

With 20km left in the 173km race, Cummings was at the back of the peloton discarding a bidon when he lost control of his bike and fell to the ground breaking his left elbow which was later confirmed by post-race x-ray's.

The winner of February's Tour Méditerranéen and runner-up at the Dubai Tour also suffered a contusion to his left hip, BMC's doctor Dario Spinelli said.

The stage was decided in a bunch sprint with Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) taking the win ahead of German national road champion André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and Theo Bos (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) with Greg Van Avermaet the best placed BMC rider in 14th.

Silvan Dillier also crashed in the frenetic finale as he was involved in a pile-up with 7km left to race but was not seriously hurt.

As Gilbert explained post-race, the teams with ambitions for sprint finish ensured it was a fast finish to open the Belgium Tour.

"It was a nervous and fast race and on the local lap it was dangerous," Gilbert said. "I wanted to anticipate with my attack and asked Thor Hushovd, as he is our sprinter. But Lotto brought us back to the peloton. This attack would not make it to the finish, but the ambition was to gain some seconds."

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