Two riders expected to start the world road championships next weekend will be forced to watch the race on television due to injuries.
Rabobank star Robert Gesink, who finished second to Philippe Gilbert at the GP Québec City on September 9, crashed while training Sunday and broke his femur, his team press officer reported.
The 25-year-old Dutch climber will undergo surgery Monday, bringing a premature end to his 2011 season. Though he was not expected to contend for victory on the flattish world championships course in Copenhagen, Denmark, Gesink was expected to add firepower to the Dutch squad.
Gesink was scheduled to end his season at the Giro dell’Emilia, which he won last year, and the Tour of Lombardy.
Rabobank’s Lars Boom, who wrapped up an overall win of the Tour of Britain on Sunday, will captain the Dutch national team at worlds. Also on the squad is Bauke Mollema, fresh from winning the points classification at the Vuelta a España, as well as Pieter Weening, Maarten Tjallingi, Jonny Hoogerland, Wout Poels, and national champion Pim Ligthart.
Also injured, and out of the world championships, is Canadian Dominique Rollin.
Rollin crashed along with Gilbert at last Sunday’s GP Montréal, injuring his right hand and gashing his upper lip. The FDJ rider finished in the top-20 this spring at Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, and Dwars door Vlaanderen and was gunning for a top result in Copenhagen.
Michael Barry (Team Sky) will replace the injured Rollin in the elite men’s road race. Canada’s other riders are David Veilleux (Europcar) and Svein Tuft (SpiderTech-C10).