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Vanmarcke a major doubt for Paris-Roubaix

Sep Vamarcke's Paris-Roubaix participation is in doubt following his crash at the Tour of Flanders. Vanmarcke broke a finger in the crash and lost plenty of skin too, in addition to the rib problems and stomach ailments that have hampered his Classics season.

Vanmarcke's brother Ken is a DS at Cannondale-Drapac and he told Belgian broadcaster Sporza that he is still in quite a bit of pain.

"Due to that little finger fracture he cannot train properly and he's lost all his skin. It's pretty painful. His left fingers are completely wrapped up. Sep is quite severely damaged," Ken Vanmarcke told Sporza. "Sep has not cycled today [Monday]. That works at this time. Everything is sticking to his wounds and it hurts. Recovery is now the priority."

Vanmarcke had been in the key breakaway but crashed heavily on the approach to a corner with just over 50 kilometres to go. Luke Rowe was also involved in the crash but was able to get back on and complete the race. Vanmarcke was more seriously injured and while he rode to the finish, he was counted as a DNF.

The team has told Cyclingnews that an official decision has not been made on whether or not Vanmarcke will ride at the weekend. A call will be made in the coming days but Ken Vanmarcke said that it is more than likely he will not ride, with Paris-Roubaix a punishing enough race without the injuries sustained at the Tour of Flanders.

"It is too early to say that he will not ride," he said. "But we must face reality. With the grazes it’s going to be sore, but his little finger is also broken. And we're talking with Paris-Roubaix is not an ordinary race. That's just the hardest course there is."

"The decision to start should be done in consultation with team doctors. You can perhaps ride, but you must also be skilled enough to hold the handlebars without your little finger. I think it is unlikely that Sep starts. But tomorrow [Tuesday] he may have to cycle a first time and then he will know more. It is too early to make a decision."

Taylor Phinney is also in doubt for Sunday’s race after he too crashed during the Tour of Flanders, which left him with concussion. The team told Cyclingnews that they have not yet made a call on Phinney’s participation either.

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