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Cancellara crashes during Paris-Roubaix recon

LILLE, France (VN) — Paris-Roubaix favorite Fabian Cancellara hit the deck for the second day in a row on Thursday, taking a tumble during a RadioShack-Leopard reconnaissance mission of the Roubaix parcours.

Het Nieuwsblad first reported the incident on Thursday afternoon and said the crash occurred on the Waindignies-Hamage sector of the course.

Team spokesman Tim Vanderjeugd said Cancellara is OK following the low-speed fall.

“[He] stepped in the car for a couple of kilometers and then went on by bike,” Vanderjeugd told Velonews via e-mail. “It’s been two years [since] he was on the cobbles here, so he wanted to go on as planned.”

The crash is the second in as many days for “Spartacus,” who enters Sunday’s “Hell of the North” as its only true favorite; his performances at E3 Harelbeke and the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) were so dominant that his rivals were reduced to mere spectators. He fell Wednesday at Scheldeprijs but soldiered on, his flesh and shorts in tatters.

“It was one of those normal crashes that happen with the wind,” RadioShack manager Luca Guercilena said of Wednesday’s fall. “Fabian was riding in front, so even though a crash is never good, it happened at a favorable moment for us. Fabian decided to continue, with his muscles warmed up, there was no problem with finishing the race.”