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Anton crashes out of Liege in neutral rollout

Spanish climber suffers fractured collarbone before kilometer zero

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LIEGE, Belgium (AFP) — Spanish climbing specialist Igor Antón became the first casualty of Liège–Bastogne–Liège after crashing before the official start of the famous one-day classic Sunday.

Antón, who rides for the Euskaltel team of contender Samuel Sánchez — the Olympic road race champion — pulled out after breaking his left collarbone in a crash as the riders rode to kilometer zero, according to race officials.

The injury will compromise his chances of competing in the Giro d’Italia, which is held May 5-27. Last year he won a stage at the Italian grand tour, as well as a stage at the Vuelta a España.

The 98th edition of Liège–Bastogne–Liège, first held in 1892 and the oldest one-day race on the calendar, is held over 257.5 km and features 11 climbs.