Sven Vanthourenhout tore a tendon in his elbow in his crash at the World Cup in Plzen yesterday. He crashed into a pole only a few laps into the race, hitting his right elbow and abandoning the race. According to Cyclocross.info, immediately following the race, Vanthourenhout went straight to the hospital to have it examined, and found that in addition to the likely torn elbow tendon, he also had lessened motor skills in his right hand as a result of the crash. He should be undergoing more testing later in the week to determine the extent of his injuries.
If the tear does in fact put him on the sidelines for the duration of the season, there will be an open spot on the Belgian World Cup Team. Belgium will have at least one extra slot, since Sven Nys is leading the overall standings and gets an automatic entry. That means the country would have nine total rather than the typical eight-rider max, thanks to Nys’ win. Looking at the results from yesterday, the Belgians are leaving an early mark on the cyclocross World Cup season. They took seven of the top ten spots and eight of the top twelve spots yesterday.
In fact, even Vanthourenhout was pleased with the results, saying that, “The only positive of Plzeň is that my comrade [Sven Nys] in a grandiose way, wins the race!”
Vanthourenhout has said since that his hand was bothering him, but remained positive on Twitter, saying that despite the pain, he would be having a fun night.
At Cyclocross Magazine, we wish Vanthourenhout a speedy recovery.