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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

News Flash for June 1, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Cadel Evans breaks collarbone again

Australian Cadel Evans (Telekom) will undergo surgery in Europe on Monday on his left shoulder after he crashed and broke his collarbone for the second time in six weeks. Evans was racing in the "Rund um die Hainleite" in Erfurt, Germany on Saturday when he crashed heavily, landing on his left side.

"It was about ten kilometres from the finish and I came off the wheel (in front) and hit a traffic island at around 60km/h," said Evans. "I hit the road hard and fell on my shoulder and head and fractured the bone in the same place as last time."

The injury puts in serious doubt his chances of making his Tour de France debut next month. "The chances of riding the Tour now are pretty slim because it took me five weeks to get back to race fitness after the last break and this time the fracture is worse," said a disappointed Evans. "Right now I've got a brace on it and whilst it's not agonisingly painful it's pretty uncomfortable."

Tomorrow's surgery will involve doctors putting a plate into his left shoulder to ensure the collar bone heals in the correct position. "It was all going well and my whole year had been planned around being good in July so of course it's disappointing and I had a few unkind words to say about the situation at the time," said Evans. "But what can I do?"

"I still might be on the start line in Paris but I just don't know yet," said Evans, whose team director Walter Godefroot has been very supportive of him. "He said that's life as a cyclist and these things happen, but that the important thing is to get back on the bike and keep racing.

"It's not like it is my last chance ever to go to the Tour and if I can't start then another year of development is not such a bad thing," said Evans looking on the bright side. "If it turns out I can't start then maybe I'll focus on races later in the year and the World Championships (in Hamilton, Canada in October). I'll take it one step at the time and wait until after the surgery to see if I need to make another plan and set new goals."

Evans previously suffered the same injury when he crashed on April 20th during the Amstel Gold World Cup race which saw him miss the remaining Spring Classics, including Liege-Bastogne-Liege, where he had been tipped as a rider to watch.

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)