Saxo Bank’s Fränk Schleck broke his collarbone in three places, his team said Tuesday after the GC hopeful crashed out of the race on the chaotic third stage.
Schleck hit the ground on the fourth, and one of the most difficult, of seven cobblestone sectors on the finale of the 213km race from Wanze in Brussels to Arenburg.
His brother Andy, last year’s runner-up to Alberto Contador (Astana), finished among the front group with BMC’s Cadel Evans and stage winner Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) to leave rival Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) down the standings.
Andy Schleck’s superb ride on one of the most treacherous stages of this year’s race was tempered by the fact he lost his brother for the rest of his campaign.
Saxo Bank later said in a statement: “After the horrible crash earlier today, Team Saxo Bank’s Fränk Schleck was examined at a local hospital where X-rays disclosed three fractures of his left collarbone, which obviously stopped the national champion of Luxembourg from continuing today’s stage.
“After having congratulated his teammates tonight after a job well done on the cobblestones, he is undergoing immediate surgery and will be out of competition for a longer period of time.”