Chris 'CJ' Sutton (Team Sky) has been forced to miss the Tour Down Under after sustaining a right wrist fracture from the People’s Choice Classic despite placing fourth in the criterium race. Sutton was caught up in the crash which brought down Giovanni Visconti on lap 7 of the race with x-rays confirming a small fracture.
"It’s a massive blow not to be continuing on with the lads because they did an incredible job for me last night. My groin and my knee were pretty sore in the race but it was only afterwards, on the way back to the hotel, that my wrist started hurting and I couldn’t grip the handlebars," said Sutton his team’s website.
"I’m trying to stay upbeat and looking forward to the Tour of Qatar now. That should be my first race back and I’ll have a week or so on the turbo before getting myself back on the road.
"In the meantime, I’ll be staying within the team during the Tour Down Under an cheering the lads on."
Sky will fly Tasmanian Nathan Earle to Adelaide on Monday night to make his WorldTour debut having signed for the team last year. Earle rode in support of Richie Porte as the Australian national road race in Buninyong and will bolster Porte’s chances at claiming the overall.
Sutton voiced his support of his replacement. "We couldn’t have wished for anyone better to come in. He showed at the Nationals he’s riding really well and good on him for coming into the group at such short notice," Sutton said.
Sports Director Kurt-Asle Arvesen was full of praise for Sutton’s efforts in the race and said the team will miss the sprinter throughout the race. "It’s a real shame to lose CJ because he was a in great condition heading into this race. What he did last night - getting back on his bike and sprinting the way he did after his fall - took a lot of courage and demonstrated how much this race means to him."