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July 6, 2015 – Fabian Cancellara was whisked off to the hospital for a CT scan shortly after he crossed the finish line of the crash-marred stage three at the Tour de France, and hours later the news confirmed the worst: two transverse process fractures in two vertebrae bones of the lower back.
Trek Factory PR/James Startt
It is the identical injury he sustained in E3 Harelbeke last March, but this time the L3 and L4 vertebrae on the right side were the culprits, not the L2 and L3 on the left side he injured in Harelbeke.
“This is incredibly disappointing for me,” said Cancellara. “The team was on a high with the yellow jersey and were very motivated to defend it. We have had a lot of crashes and injuries since the start of the season, and we finally had a great 24 hours but now it’s back to bad luck. One day you win, one day you lose.”
It’s a big blow to Trek Factory Racing only three days into the Tour de France and a day after Cancellara had claimed his 29th yellow jersey.
The recovery time was lengthy last time around; in fact Cancellara had just rebounded to top form from the March crash that ended his Classics campaign.
“It was very hard to come back in shape after my crash in Harelbeke and getting the confidence,” Cancellara added. “The yellow jersey gave me a huge boost for the cobblestone stage tomorrow. I guess I have to keep the positive and look forward to the second part of the season.”
The crash of Stage 3