Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing) is facing six to eight weeks out of action after fracturing his left elbow in a crash in the final kilometres of stage three of the Santos Tour Down Under to Campbelltown.
The German crashed at speed with several other riders, including Tyler Farrar (Dimension Data), who borrowed a spectator’s bike and shoes to finish the stage. Burghardt got up and finished the stage but was unable to start stage four. He was diagnosed with two small fractures on his left elbow extending into the joint surface.
BMC Racing Team Physician Dr. Scott Major said the injury will take some time to heal.
"Marcus will be off the bike for a week, and then restricted to riding his indoor trainer for another few weeks. He should then be ready to train again on the roads, however his racing schedule will most likely be postponed for 6-8 weeks."
Burghardt is part of BMC’s Classics squad but will be replaced by Rick Zabel to complete the team’s roster for the Cadel Evans Road Race on January 31. Burghardt could be forced to miss the Classics but remained upbeat.
"First my elbow needs to heal and then I'll start training on the rollers, before I am hopefully back riding outside in three weeks' time. We'll have to see how things are going with the injury but I hope to be back racing as soon as possible,” he said in a statement from the BMC team.
"I was feeling good in the first stages of the Tour Down Under. It is a shame that I didn't really have the chance to test how good my form is right now. I think after a little bit of rest, I'm positive that I'll still have a good season.”
BMC racing schedule will be modified to allow Burghardt to recover as well as possible.
"You're looking at two different sides of Marcus' injury. There's the Santos Tour Down Under and with Marcus having to withdraw, we are left one rider short. Of course we'd like to have the advantage of a full team and have Marcus' expertise here to try and win the race," BMC team manager Jim Ochowicz said.
"His racing objectives for the season include the Classics starting with Milan-San Remo. So we want to evaluate his injuries as we go forward, get him back on the bike and allow his training to continue at a level that his injury allows."