Bicycle veteran John Degenkolb retired early after a fall at the World Championship road race in Flanders and was taken to hospital as a precaution.

The 32-year-old “suffered abrasions and bruises” and “fell on his head,” wrote a spokeswoman for the Association of German Cyclists (BDR) on Sunday in Leuven.

Degenkolb is approachable.

The wounds of the German classic specialist were initially treated after the fall on the 267.7 km long course.

The Dane Mikkel Honore was also involved in the high-speed crash.

At first it was not clear how severe Degenkolb's injuries are.

A doctor from the BDR is on the way to the infirmary of the UCI world association, according to the German association.

Well before the decisive phase of the race, the German team lost an experienced and well-humored helper who was second at Eschborn-Frankfurt last Sunday.

The German champion Maximilian Schachmann also had to give up prematurely after losing touch with the field that was racing through Flanders very early on.