It's a matter of one in, one out, for the Swiss-based IAM Cycling team this season as their run of broken bones continues. Within a week of Heinrich Haussler and Stefan Denifl announcing their imminent return to racing, Johan Tschopp fell in the third stage of the Tour de l'Ain and broke his left collarbone.
Tschopp was leading the break of the day down the col de Menthières on the 137.9 kilometre stage from Izernore to Lélex Monts-Jura when he led into and overshot a left-hand turn. Tschopp fell heavily and was later diagnosed by race medics as having broken his collarbone into three pieces. The escape continued on it's way with Tschopp's compatriot and teammate Sébastien Reichenbach providing the best result for the IAM team with sixth on the stage.
The Swiss will now undergo surgery on his clavicle this Wednesday in Geneva to speed the recovery process. The break comes at the worst possible time for 31-year-old rider who was just starting to find his feet. After claiming the King of the Mountains title at Paris-Nice earlier in the year, Tschopp showed was close to re-capturing top form after finishing second in the recent Trofeo Matteoti.
IAM started the season with consistent results during the spring classics thanks mainly to Heinrich Haussler but was dealt a heavy blow after missing an invite to the Tour de France.
The Tour de l'Ain continues on Tuesday with Tom Jelte Slagter (Belkin) holding a four second lead over teammate Luis Leon Sanchez heading into the 134.3 kilometre final stage. Sébastien Reichenbach sits in seventh place on the overall classification for IAM Cycling, 28 seconds off the pace.
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