In three days of racing in the winds at the Tour of Qatar, four men have broken their collarbones after crashing. And on Tuesday, American neopro Kirk Carlsen (Garmin-Transitions) broke his right collarbone and scapula on stage 3.
“We had just done the first intermediate sprint, which I led out,” Carlsen told VeloNews. “I was coming back in the field, and we were cruising in the tailwind. There were reflector dots on the road and someone swerved really fast [to avoid the dots] and took out my front wheel. It took out all the spokes. I thought I was going to be able to keep it up, but the spokes must have got caught in the fork, because it tossed me. I landed directly on my head and my shoulder.”
Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Sky) broke his collarbone just one kilometer into stage 2, the first road stage of Qatar. And Garmin-Transitions’ Steven Cozza followed suit less than two hours later.
On stage 3, German sprinter Gerald Ciolek (Milram) became the latest casualty on the broken clavicle list.
“Gerald will be flown to Germany as quickly as possible,” said team director Ralf Grabsh. “The collarbone fracture was diagnosed here by two doctors. The doctors in Germany will determine how complicated the fracture is and whether surgery is necessary.”
For Arvesen and Cozza, it wasn’t the first collarbone break. Still, for both it was a frustrating start to the season.
Garmin team director Johnny Weltz said Cozza flipped over teammate Martijn Maaskant after Maaskant was taken down in the aggressive jostling in the crosswinds. Both men had just made the decisive front echelon with teammate Tyler Farrar, and things were looking good.
“Everything happened in a split-second,” Weltz said. “We went from everything to nothing, all of a sudden.”
Cozza flew to Belgium today for surgery with the same doctor who has patched up Farrar after similar spills.
“Steven should be back on the bike in a few days,” Weltz said.
Cozza and Carlsen were roommates in Qatar.
“I think this room is cursed,” Carlsen joked. “I gottta get out of here.”