GreenEDGE will need to reassess its strategy for this Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix Classic after a horrific crash in yesterday’s Tour of Flanders took out its main hope.
Travelling at speeds of 60-70km/h down a bike path adjacent to the racing road, Sebastian Langeveld could not avoid the inevitable when a spectator, dodging another cyclist, ran into his path.
The force of the impact tore the front wheel from Langeveld’s bike as the Dutchman smacked the concrete below, snapping his collarbone. The spectator escaped with a sore heel.See the video here
Team director Matt White was livid.
“You can’t control 260 km of roads but some people on the course have no common sense. Sebastian was on the pavement but the spectator then ran back in front of him,” White told Cycling News.
Belgian Tom Boonen took out the 255km one day race, leading Italians Filippo Pozzato and Alessandro Ballan to record his third Flanders win.
Another victim of the Flanders roads was RadioShack veteran Fabian Cancellara, crashing out at a feed zone 60km from the finish line.
Cancellara fell victim to a slowing pack with riders ahead rapidly changing line to stay upright and access their feedbags. Running over a discarded water bottle, the Swiss went down hard; his right collarbone fractured in four places.
His obvious withdrawal from this week’s Paris-Roubaix is a blow to organisers and fans, Cancellara having won two of his four Monuments there. It may however make finding a replacement for Langeveld slightly less stressful for GreenEDGE.
“We’ve not got a big favourite but we’ve got guys like O’Grady, Vaitkus, and Cooke who know how to race and now with Cancellara out of the race it really changes things a lot too,” said White.
Judith Arndt made sure all was not lost for GreenEDGE, taking out the 127km Women’s Tour of Flanders in a sprint finish. The win gave GreenEDGE’s women their first triumph of the eight-race World Cup.