Debusschere out of Tour of Flanders

Dwars door Vlaanderen winner Jens Debusschere's Spring Classics campaign came to an end this week after examinations discovered two fractures on his spine caused by a crash in Gent-Wevelgem. The Belgian will miss the Tour of Flanders.

Debusschere crashed into a verge with 80km to go in Gent-Wevelgem, and it was initially thought he had only sustained bruises to his lower back and shoulder blade and a mild concussion. However, additional tests on Wednesday showed the fractures to the transverse process on his vertebrae.

“This is a huge disappointment of course," Debusschere said. "I planned to take another big step forward this Spring and I felt really good during the preparations. A crash in the Strade Bianche and a rib injury almost disturbed my Spring, but I had a good feeling in Tirreno-Adriatico, I managed to help Jürgen Roelandts in Milano-Sanremo and I was able to win Dwars Door Vlaanderen. I hoped to maintain that good shape the next few weeks, but unfortunately I crashed in Gent-Wevelgem.”

“I had really good legs past Sunday, perhaps I could have played a role in the finale. It’s still not clear how I crashed. My head, shoulder and especially my back are injured. I’ll need a few weeks to recover from these injuries. After that I’ll focus on the next part of the season."

Debusschere put his injuries into perspective: "For me this is painful, but compared to the grief of the families, friends and teammates of Antoine Demoitié and Daan Myngheer my injuries are peanuts.”

Demoitié died as a result of injuries sustained after crashing and then being hit by a race official's motorcycle, while Myngheer died after having a heart attack in Criterium International.

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