Martijn Maaskant breaks seven ribs in Paris-Nice crash
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Martijn Maaskant breaks seven ribs in Paris-Nice crash

by Jered Gruber at 7:08 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Garmin-Cervelo cobbled specialist's Classics season disappears

Martijn Maaskant's Spring Classics campaign ended before it even got off the ground, well, that's at least where it ended.

The 27 year old crashed hard in the midst of a strong, active day at the front of the race. The Dutchman took sixth place points over the third and fourth climbs of the day, but saw his Paris-Nice and, unfortunately, his entire spring ended on a treacherous, wet descent with 60 kilometers remaining.

The former 4th place finisher at Paris-Roubaix had to abandon the race due to his injuries. He was taken to the hospital in Grasse, and the diagnosis was unfortunate: seven broken ribs. Some reports have indicated that Maaskant also suffered a collapsed lung, but Garmin-Cervelo manager, Jonathan Vaughters, said over Twitter that news of a collapsed lung was not true.

Following a spectacular debut with Garmin-Chipotle in 2008 where he finished 12th at the Ronde van Vlaanderen and 4th at Paris-Roubaix, the talented young Dutchman was able to follow up his neo-pro success with 4th at the Tour of Flanders the next year. 2010 didn't live up to the expectations of the previous two years, but 2011 got off to a fantastic start for Maaskant with a 7th place finish in an extremely difficult Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Maaskant's absence from the Spring Classics will obviously be a huge loss for the young rider's personal ambitions, but likely even bigger for his Garmin-Cervelo team. Garmin-Cervelo's powerful Classics squad will sorely miss the abilities of the young rider and the options he could open up. Maaskant could be the perfect x-factor on a super team like Garmin-Cervelo, either as a domestique par excellence, or as the rider that profits when the collective heads turn toward the likes of Heinrich Haussler, Thor Hushovd, and Tyler Farrar.

In other crash news from the Garmin-Cervelo camp on Saturday: there was a sigh of relief when current Paris-Nice points leader, Heinrich Haussler, managed to make it through the day without any major injuries after crashing on multiple occasions, including one altercation with a cement wall. 



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