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Dillier breaks collarbone in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne crash

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 27 Silvan Dillier of Switzerland and Team AlpecinFenix Jean Pierre Drucker of Luxembourg and Team Cofidis during the 76th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2021 Mens Race a 2005km race from Ghent to Ninove Wall of Geraardsbergen Mur de Huy De Muur Cobblestones OmloopHNB OHN21 FlandersClassic on February 27 2021 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix) tackling a cobbled section at Saturday's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Alpecin-Fenix's cobbled Classics squad has suffered a blow after Silvan Dillier broke his collarbone in a late fall at Sunday's Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.

The Swiss rider was caught in a crash in the closing metres of the race as he sprinted to the line in a 28-strong group led home by Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), 1:48 down on winner Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo).

After a touch of wheels in the middle of the group, Dillier could be seen losing his balance and hitting the road, the only rider to go down in the incident. The 30-year-old sat holding his shoulder and is now facing several weeks away from racing as a result, putting a dent in his and the team's spring Classics campaign.

Dillier was one of several riders to crash during the Opening Weekend of Classics and other races. Adam Yates suffered cuts to his face and mouth on the final stage of the UAE Tour  but managed to ride on and finish second overall. Fellow Briton Charlie Quarterman spent the night in hospital after being diagnosed with a concussion after he collided with a team vehicle at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday. 

Dillier, who finished 14th at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, is a new face at the team, joining from AG2R after spending three years at the French squad. In 2018 he finished second at Paris-Roubaix, losing out to Peter Sagan in the sprint for the line.

He is set to be part of Mathieu van der Poel's support squad through the cobbled Classics in April, though it remains to be seen how his injury will affect his preparation and his participation in those races.

On Monday morning, Dillier posted an update to Facebook from AZ Herentals hospital near Antwerp.

"Shit happens," he wrote. "It just depends what you do in that kind of situation. I broke my collarbone at the finish of KBK21, and a couple of hours later I got it fixed again.

"I'm overwhelmed and grateful for the great support of my team Alpecin-Fenix and AZ Herentals. See you guys soon on the bike."

Dillier's 2020 ended with similar bad luck, as he first crashed out of the Tour of Flanders and then crashed at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne, breaking his collarbone in the process. Earlier in the season he missed Strade Bianche after testing positive for COVID-19, while in 2019, he missed out on Tour de France selection after breaking his collarbone in a training camp crash in May.

Daniel joined Cyclingnews as staff writer in August 2019 after working as a freelance journalist for seven years, including time spent working for Cyclingnews and sister magazine, Procycling.