Fabian Cancellara Crash Opens Door for Tom Boonen to Dominate the Field

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IApril 1, 2012

WEVELGEM, BELGIUM - MARCH 25:  (l to r) Matti Breschel (3rd) of Denmark and Rabobank, Tom Boonen (1st) of Belgium and Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Peter Sagan of Slovakia and Liquigas-Cannondale stand on the podium after the 74th edition of the Gent - Wevelgem one day cycle race on March 25, 2012 in Wevelgem, Belgium.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)bank
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Fabian Cancellara won't be threatening Tom Boonen in the Classics any more this year, and Boonen is now the clear favorite to dominate the field the rest of the way.

Cancellara was involved in a brutal crash at the end of the Tour de Flanders. He had just entered into the feed zone when he fell off his bike and shattered his collarbone.

Cancellara will require surgery to repair his mangled collarbone, and he won't be able to get back into training for quite some time.

Boonen and Cancellara had won a combined three Tours of Flanders and five editions of Paris-Roubaix—both races among the most prestigious in the sport—before this unfortunate incident.

Boonen will now have a clear path to victory the rest of the season. He is riding at the top of his game right now, as his latest victory proves. He easily out-sprinted Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) and Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing Team) after the three of them had pulled away from the pack towards the end of the Tour de Flanders.

With Cancellara out of the picture, there is no one left to challenge the Belgian.

Next up for Boonen is the Paris-Roubaix, where he has won three previous times. He will easily be the favorite this year, and there isn't any reason to believe Boonen won't completely dominate the competition the rest of the way in 2012.