Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) picks himself up from a crash.
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RadioShack leader suffers two crashes and multiple punctures
Bad luck cost Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) the chance of defending his title in E3 Harelbeke on Friday. The two-time race winner suffered three punctures and two crashes during the race and despite being a major factor in several attacks had to settle for 22nd place on the day.
“Today was a day of bad luck,” Fabian Cancellara said after the race. “Luckily I don’t have so many of those days. I crashed early in the race but it wasn’t anything much. But straight after that I got two punctures right in a row. Tony Gallopin was there to bring me back but that was only a prelude of more to come.”
Cancellara had skipped Dwars door Vlaanderen earlier in the week as he recovered from his second-placed ride in Milan-San Remo and he looked in threatening form when he matched a move from Tom Boonen on the Taaienberg. Although he was caught behind a number of riders he was quickly onto the Belgian’s rear wheel.
At that point Cancellara had already come back from an early crash and two punctures in quick succession.
On the Kwaremont Cancellara repaid Boonen with his own attack from the front. The move was far more devastating than Boonen’s earlier foray but luck was again lacking and the RadioShack leader suffered another puncture. With no team assistance in sight he was forced to ride to the crest of the climb with a flat tyre.
“The original plan was to try something on the Kwaremont and that worked. There were only four guys in the group. Then the puncture of the front wheel came but I had to keep moving on the cobbles to the mechanic for a new wheel. Bennati came by me and I told him to keep riding so at least we’d have someone in the front group. Our Trek rep Jordan Roessingh was at the top with a wheel but we got hit
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