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Updated: Freak pre-race crash takes Craddock out of E3 Saxo Bank Classic

Craddock is tended to by a teammate after his crash (Image credit: VRT / Sporza)

Lawson Craddock’s day at E3 Saxo Bank Classic was over before it began, with the US rider crashing during the pre-race podium ceremony in Harelbeke. 

Craddock was seen on the ground nursing his wounds after appearing to fall after BikeExchange-Jayco had been presented to the crowds at the start. 

Craddock cut a happy figure on the stage but that soon changed after he rolled back down the ramp behind the podium. He was pictured on the ground alongside ramped plastic coverings that house television cables. The Australian team indicated to Cyclingnews that he had been knocked off balance when he'd ridden over it. 

"Coming away from the team presentation I went to go over some of the cable covers and the way I hit them it just put my back wheel in the air and I went over the handlebars and landed with my hand directly underneath me on my chest," Craddock explained. 

"There was immediately a lot of pain in my chest and my hand. I tried to ride again but couldn’t really hold the handlebar or stand up. So it was better to be safe in that situation and not take the start." 

Craddock was then taken to hospital in Waregem, where X-rays confirmed he had fractured a bone in his hand.  

"It’s really disappointing, the Classics were over before they really began," Craddock said.

"I went to the hospital for an X-ray and they confirmed there’s a fracture in my fifth metacarpal. I was motivated and looking forward to trace. Now I have to re-evalute for the future and see where we go from here." 

Craddock had made a target of the cobbled Classics in his first season with BikeExchange-Jayco. In his absence, the Australian team continue with six riders, lead by Luke Durbridge.

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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.