De Panne crashes

The crashes and injuries that have plagued the peloton this season have continued in the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde. Silence-Lotto's Leif Hoste ended the day with a bloody knee and pains in his back and ribs, but he told, "I will certainly start tomorrow".

Frédéric Amorison of Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner had less luck as he was taken to the hospital with a suspected broken collarbone.

On the other hand, Kurt Hovelijnck of Topsport Vlaanderen was the best Belgian finisher, coming in 29 seconds down in 10th place, despite some serious toothache. He went to the dentist immediately after the stage. "He couldn't take the pain any longer. He was getting treatment last week but the problem came back today," Directeur Sportif Walter Planckaert told sporza, and laughingly added, "I wonder how well Hovelijnck would have ridden without the toothache!"

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