Ian Stannard (Team Sky) will miss out on the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix after fracturing vertebra in Ghent-Wevelgem crash

Ian Stannard (Team Sky) will miss the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix after fracturing a vertebra in a crash during Sunday’s Ghent-Wevelgem.

Stannard, 26, was rushed to hospital in Ypres after he crashed heavily into a deep ditch with around 70km to race.

Doctors diagnosed a fracture in one of Stannard’s thoracic vertebrae, ending his hopes of becoming the first British rider to win Paris-Roubaix.

“I’ve hurt myself pretty badly before but straight away I knew I’d done something pretty bad. I was in a lot of pain,” Stannard told Cycling Weekly.

“I’m pretty lucky to be honest – it could have been a lot worse.”

Stannard, who took the best win of his career to date at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last month, will now return home to await a specialist diagnosis before considering his return to the bike.

Team Sky’s doctor Phil Riley said: “Ian has a fracture in one of his vertebrae as a result of his fall. The fracture is stable and he will undergo a review with a UK-based neurosurgeon this week, as well as having an MRI scan. That should allow us to find out more information following his CT scan.”

Ian Stannard crashes in Ghent-Wevelgem 2014

Classics heartbreak for Ian Stannard, who will now miss the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix

While his teammates, including Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins, head to the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, Stannard will turn his attention to the 2014 Tour de France, which starts in Leeds on July 5.

“It’s going to really tough to get over, I’m pretty disappointed that I wont be there at Paris-Roubaix,” Stannard added.

“But the Tour starts in Yorkshire this year and I’m a British rider, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be there. That gives me another focus and something to work towards.”