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Paris-Nice Stage 1: Boonen Crash Cancels Classics Campaign; Kristoff Wins Sprint

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Boonen and Kristoff, earlier in the stage
Boonen and Kristoff, earlier in the stage
Yorick Jansens, Getty

Tom Boonen of Etixx-Quick Step fell in today's stage of Paris-Nice after touching wheels with teammate Nicholas Maes 20km from the finish. Boonen is being examined for a possible broken collarbone, which would put an end to his spring classics season and effectively ruin his 2015 program.

[Update] Boonen's collarbone is NOT broken! Sporza is reporting that it's just a sprained shoulder. Classics season interrupted but maybe not ruined!

[Second Update] Except now it's a bad sprain, and he's been ruled out of the classics after all.

Boonen was riding at the back of the pack and suffered a moment of inattention, fussing with clothing, just as the peloton was slowing down unexpectedly, which was all it took to bring him down. The team reported that both brakes on Boonen's bike were destroyed, suggesting he tried hard to stop himself suddenly. A rider from Cannondale-Garmin also went down, less dramatically. Boonen sat on the ground in pain for some time, clutching his shoulder in the pose cycling fans know all too well as representing a likely collarbone injury. Boonen departed the race for a local hospital, and all parties fear the worst.

Alexander Kristoff of Katusha won the sprint for the stage just ahead of Nacer Bouhanni, continuing his excellent spring. Overnight leader Michal Kwiatkowski, also with Etixx-Quick Step, held on to the jersey, on an uneventful day, racing-wise, which had been the rumors of possible crosswind action.

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