Australian rider Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott) has been ruled out for the remainder of the spring Classics season after fracturing both his collarbone and finger in a collision with a tree at the Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne on Wednesday.
At the same time, Mitchelton-Scott reported that Alex Edmondson, who was also set to feature at the one-day Classics, has not recovered from an injury sustained in a crash at the GP Industria and Artianato in Italy in early March, and will also miss the rest of the spring campaign.
Despite trying to remain upbeat and conceding that such bad luck is part and parcel of bike racing, Durbridge nevertheless described himself as "devastated and upset" at having to miss this spring's races.
"I have broken my collarbone and my left finger," the 27-year-old said in a statement from the team. "I am a bit devastated to be missing the Classics, obviously, as they're my favourite races of the year, and it's really upsetting, but this is cycling and it can happen like that sometimes.
"I'll have surgery tomorrow, and we will assess things from there," the Australian time trial champion continued. "I'm sad to leave the boys up here in Belgium, but I'll be back, and we'll fight for these races again next year, I'm sure."
Mitchelton-Scott team doctor David Hulse added that both of Durbridge's fractures would require surgery, while also giving more details about the crash.
"Luke was involved in a fall today, in which he also collided with a tree," Dr Hulse said. "After being quickly assessed by the race medical team and transferred to the designated hospital, scans have revealed he has sustained a clean fracture to his right collarbone, which will require a plate, and a 'boxer' fracture to his left hand.
"Both will require surgery, which will be completed at a hospital specialising in the treatment of cyclists tomorrow. The recovery time for Luke will be assessed following further advice from the surgeon tomorrow. The presence of the two separate injuries obviously makes for extra consideration," he said.
Regarding Edmondson's injury, Dr Hulse added that the 25-year-old had suffered a secondary injury to his elbow, having ridden Tirreno-Adriatico following his crash, but pulling out on stage 4 having helped his team win the team time trial on the opening stage.
"Alex has ulnar nerve symptoms following an elbow re-injury that causes him discomfort when he grips the bars or levers. The force required to ride on the cobbles would intensify this, and therefore a decision has been made for him to withdraw. Alex will see a specialist in the coming days to determine the best course of action for recovery from here."
Edmondson said that he was disappointed to be missing out on the spring Classics, which had been a target for him this year.
"Obviously I'm completely gutted to be out of the Classics due to my elbow," he said. "I crashed at the GP Industria and Artigianato, which was a nothing crash, but I landed hard on the inside of my elbow and have been having a lot of issues with the nerves and pain in my arm.
"The Classics were a big goal of mine, which makes it even harder to swallow, but I have to listen to the medical staff, as at the end of the day my health comes first.
"I won't be in Belgium for the Classics, but now I'll be sitting on my couch cheering on the Mitchelton-Scott boys. It's time for some rehab and to focus on the next goals," said Edmondson.
Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets
After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Cyclingnews is the world's leader in English-language coverage of professional cycling. Started in 1995 by University of Newcastle professor Bill Mitchell, the site was one of the first to provide breaking news and results over the internet in English. The site was purchased by Knapp Communications in 1999, and owner Gerard Knapp built it into the definitive voice of pro cycling. Since then, major publishing house Future PLC has owned the site and expanded it to include top features, news, results, photos and tech reporting. The site continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative English voice in professional cycling.