Sam Dobbs of the BMC Development Team will be out of action for approximately 6 weeks after crashing while racing for the U23 New Zealand National Team at the Ronde van Vlaanderen Beloften; or U23 Tour of Flanders.
It’s been a baptism of fire so far in Belgium for the New Zealand National U23 team. The latest event for the team took them to the U23 Tour of Flanders, 168km of racing over 18 bergs which included the climbs of Oude kwaremont, Paterberg and Taaienberg; famous for being the scene of Philippe Gilbert’s win in the World Tour event last weekend.
New Zealand sent a team that contained Alex West, Ollie Jones, Matias Fitzwater, Tom Carter, Ryan Christensen and Sam Dobbs to the event. Over the course of the day’s racing in Flanders the event broke up significantly, with Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar eventually breaking clear to take the win after more than 4 hours in the saddle. Dunbar took the win 49 seconds ahead of Jasper Philipsen and Jeremy Lecroq, but fortune wasn’t smiling on the New Zealand outfit.
Dobbs was among a number of riders who hit the deck on the day, but sadly for Dobbs the damage done ruled him out of action for the next few weeks. Dobbs sustained a broken wrist and broken finger and is expecting to be out of action for the next six weeks.
Also taking a tumble and being forced out of the race were Ryan Christensen, Alex West and Matias Fitzwater, who all took a tumble and ended up heading away in the ambulance. Thankfully for Christensen, West and Fitzwater they came away without broken bones.