This year’s Ronde van Vlaanderen was certainly notable for its extensive casualty list and one of the most notable – pre-race favourite Fabian Cancellara who crashed hard at a feed station – has been speaking optimistically from his clinic in Basel, Switzerland. The RadioShack-Nissan rider suffered an agonising quadruple collar bone fracture which surgeons repaired with a pin rather than the more usual plates and screws in order to maintain bone strength once training is able to resume. The team doctor, Andreas Gösele, described the procedure as: ‘…a lot more natural and (one which) doesn’t affect the strength of the bone once the device is removed. The pin will be removed once the fracture is completely healed, at the very earliest in six weeks time. But this is really a small routine operation.’
An amazingly upbeat Cancellara added: ‘A crash is part of cycling, and in a way it’s also part of life. I have been working really hard in the last four months to be in the best shape possible for the big races; and I’m confident that I would have performed well. However, I’m glad I only broke my collarbone and that I’m okay for the rest. I’ll be back!’ Indeed the rider hopes to return, at least to ergo-training, within a matter of days with the longer term goal being a full return to competition by May.