Quick Step's Chavanel in the hospital
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Quick Step's Chavanel in the hospital

by Jered Gruber at 3:19 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège

An unfortunately quiet start to the season just got a bit worse for Quick Step's Sylvain Chavanel. With 1.3 km to go in Liege-Bastogne-Liege today, Chavanel collided with the back of another's team's car as he was trying to connect to the group in front of him.

Chavanel was taken immediately to a nearby hospital in Liege, where it was found that he suffered from a broken tooth, a wound to his right cheekbone, and a concussion to top it all off.

Chavanel will remain in the hospital overnight as a precautionary measure.

A 16th place at last weekend's Amstel Gold race seemed to deliver some positive indications that a solid result in today's Liege-Bastogne-Liege was in fact possible. Alas, the late crash put paid to any chances and capped off a forgettable first few months of 2010.

The French Classics hope has factored little in the first part of the season after high hopes ushered him into 2010. He hasn't had a terrible start by any stretch of the imagination, but Top 20's and 30's in the early Classics were not the hoped for results after a powerful 2009 Spring Campaign seemingly ushered in a new era of talent confirmed for the 30-year-old.

In retrospect, perhaps Chavanel's aims in the Classics were a bit too audacious. In December, a confident Chavanel was happy to report that he'd be racing each weekend of the Classics: Gent-Wevelgem, the Ronde, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. "This way I have an important race every week in April. This is ideal for me."

Quick Step manager, Patrick Lefevere confessed that he was slightly worried about Chavanel's goals, couldn't hold back his rider when he had his sights set: "To deny something to Sylvain, who is always motivated, is difficult." Chavanel had shown himself to be one of the few riders that could theoretically handle a Flanders and Ardennes schedule, but this Spring showed that the potential will remain just that for the time being.


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