EF Education First Pro Cycling Classics captain Sep Vanmarcke crashed out of E3 BinckBank Classic on Friday.
“After the Hotondberg, there’s a small descent towards the most important corner of the whole race, and it’s really stressful,” said Vanmarcke. “I was moving up on the left side, but it was a descent, so we were going 70 kilometers per hour as I moved up. There was a wave in the peloton, and I was the last guy on the outside, so I got hit off the road.”
“I stayed on my bike in the grass as long as possible,” said Vanmarcke. “But then were was a deep ditch, and I fell into that.”
A race ambulance took Vanmarcke to AZ Oudenaarde, a hospital in Oudenaarde, Belgium, for a check-up after his fall. Fractures were ruled out after x-rays to Vanmarcke’s ribs, knee and ankle.
“We went to the hospital. It’s all bruised, ribs are bruised and knee and ankle are twisted. Those are swollen now and I can’t quite walk now properly,” said Vanmarcke. “Although, I don’t have to walk. I only have to ride, and the team doctor and chiro have worked on it. Hopefully with that treatment and some rest, it will be better in a few days.”
Although Vanmarcke’s injuries would allow him to start Sunday’s Gent Wevelgem, a team decision was made to keep Vanmarcke sidelined. Knee pain would likely prevent Vanmarcke from contending for the podium.
“Sep’s ankle, knee and ribs took the impact of his crash today,” said team doctor David Castol, who was with Vanmarcke at AZ Oudenaarde. “The knee is quite painful so Sep will not race Gent-Wevelgem this upcoming Sunday. Sep’s focus is his preparation for Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. We will look to use Wednesday’s race at Dwars door Vlaanderen as a test of his recovery.”