Greipel crashed in the closing phases of stage 4 of the Portuguese race on Saturday, with Alex Dowsett colliding with him from behind as he did so. He suffered "serious abrasions on his right side" and "a bruised rib on his left", according to the Lotto Soudal team.
The 33-year-old did not take to the start on the final stage as a precaution. It was not thought that the crash would cause him to miss any races, but further medical examinations on Monday revealed that his rib had in fact been fractured. The team announced that they will take a decision in the coming days on whether Greipel is fit to start the one-day Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday, a race that suits the sprinters.
Greipel’s injury is the latest in a string of blows for the Belgian WorldTour squad, whose riders were in the wars in Algarve.
Jelle Wallays crashed on the opening stage and eventually abandoned ahead of stage 4 with a muscle rupture in his hip – an injury that may cause him to miss Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday. Sean de Bie was also caught up in the same crash as Greipel, coming away with non-serious abrasions.
On Friday, Thomas De Gendt and Gert Dockx were both hit by a car in Spain whilst on a training ride. Dockx suffered severe bruising to his right leg and is a doubt for Omloop and Kuurne, while De Gendt fractured his finger and was concussed, which has kept him out of training and may force him out of Paris-Nice in March.
On top of that, Marcel Sieberg will miss the opening weekend in Belgium this weekend after suffering a chronic respiratory infection that sidelined him during the Volta ao Algarve.
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