Brussels - Australian Adam Hansen left the Tour de France in agony, both physically and emotionally, after suffering broken shoulder bones in a crash on the race's first stage on Sunday.
Hansen, who rides for the HTC-Columbia team of fellow Aussie Mick Rogers and British sprint ace Mark Cavendish, crashed early on the 223.5km crash-marred ride from Rotterdam to here, and appeared to damage his collarbone.
The Queenslander battled bravely to the finish, but later scans were to give him the sorry news that his bid to play a pivotal role in the team's ambitions this year were over.
A statement later said Hansen would not start stage two of the Tour de France "due to broken bones resulting from a crash early in the first stage", and although it did not specify the collarbone Hansen had complained of pain there after his crash.
It added: "Following the race, he was taken directly to hospital for CT scans which showed broken bones."
Hansen's powerful style of riding was to add fuel to Cavendish's formidable sprint train for the bunch sprints of the flatter stages, and give Rogers some support on the early approaches to the climbs.
"I'm extremely disappointed," Hansen said on returning from hospital. "I was really looking forward to this Tour and I'm upset now that they have to continue with only eight riders.
"It was one of those freak crashes. I briefly saw something on the road before I hit it and my bike skid(ded) across the field. Most riders managed to avoid me but at the last second I hit the back wheel of another rider and went down."
Hansen will be taken to a specialist orthopaedic hospital in Germany for further treatment.
"We are very happy with the immediate care he received at the hospital here in Brussels," said Team Doctor Helge Riepenhof.
"Hansen will now travel to our hospital in Hamburg so that we can make decisions on the best treatment."
Team owner Bob Stapleton was equally sad to see Hansen leave the race.
"Adam displayed amazing loyalty to the team today by finishing the race and working extremely hard towards the end," said Stapleton.
"He is an extremely valuable rider and we will definitely miss him at this Tour de France. For now his health is the most important thing and we want to give him the best care for a quick recovery."