Campenaerts out with vertebra fracture from Bredene Koksijde crash

 Victor Campenaerts racing during Le Samyn
Victor Campenaerts racing during Le Samyn

Victor Campenaerts, one of the cornerstones of Lotto-Dstny's classics campaign, will be out for the next two months and miss all of the remaining Spring Classics. The 31-year-old crashed heavily in the Bredene Koksijde Classic on Friday and fractured a vertebra in his lumbar spine, his team announced.

Campenaerts was mid-pack with 53km to go, having drifted back after his team tried to split the race in the crosswinds. On a narrow section of road with a deep crack running through the middle of the tarmac a Intermarché-Circus-Wanty rider shifted to avoid riding into the rut and bumped into Hugo Hofstetter (Arkéa-Samsic). The contact caused Hofstetter to fall and the crash rippled through the peloton.

When the dust cleared, Campenaerts was obviously the worst off, seen writing in pain on the ground while the rest of the crash victims got back up.

"I am of course very disappointed to miss the Spring Classics with Lotto-Dstny," Campenaerts said. "Everyone saw that we had started the season in a good way and I was really looking forward to continuing that good flow in the upcoming classics.

"Unfortunately I will now have to follow it from home. I am convinced that my teammates will show great things in the coming weeks, and from the sofa, I will be their biggest supporter."

The crash was Campenaerts third in two days after he went down twice in the GP de Denain on Thursday. Hofstetter also crashed twice in yesterday's race, and broke two sets Bianchi handlebars in the process. Bianchi vehemently denied any faults with their equipment in a statement today.

In 2022, Campenaerts raced a dozen Spring Classics from Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to Paris-Roubaix, with a fourth place in Dwars door Vlaanderen his best result.