Cycling superstar Wout van Aert was seriously injured in a mass fall in front of the upcoming Tour of Flanders (March 31) and Paris-Roubaix (April 7) monuments. The 29-year-old Belgian crashed on Wednesday with several other riders in the semi-classic Across Flanders cycling race about 68 kilometers from the finish in Waregem and had to give up. The nine-time Tour de France stage winner suffered a broken collarbone and several broken ribs. “It is unclear how long the recovery will take. Van Aert will definitely miss the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and the Amstel Gold Race,” his team said on Wednesday evening.

According to media reports, Van Aert had to be put on a stretcher while crying. It was also over for three other professionals. In addition to van Aert, the Danish professional Mads Pedersen and the Eritrean Biniam Girmay were also involved in the crash.

Van Aert, teammate of two-time Tour winner Jonas Vingegaard, is experiencing a bitter start to the season. Last Friday he also crashed at the E3 Prize and later had to admit defeat to his long-term rival Mathieu van der Poel.