Greipel fractures shoulder, out for three months
Andre Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) is expected to be sidelined for three months after fracturing his shoulder in a training crash.
The German sprint specialist will miss the entire Classics season with his Giro d’Italia chances also highly doubtful.
"A car came in our direction so we went single file on a small road," Greipel said.
"There was water and mud on the road and somehow I came off the road and lost my balance. My front wheel slipped, and I slid towards a rock with my head and shoulder first..."
The 37-year-old boasts 22 stage wins at Grand Tours, winning the points classification at La Vuelta in 2009, and is a two-time winner of the Brussels Cycling Classic.
"It's definitely a big setback for Greipel and the team," Israel Start-Up Nation team manager Kjell Carlstrom said.
"He started the season so well in the Tour Down Under and showed what kind of a leader he is for the team. We already lost two riders for months to severe injuries - Rory Sutherland and Ben Hermans.
"So it's definitely bad news and something we will need to overcome but it will not be easy."
The 2020 Classics season begins with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in Gent, Belgium on February 29.