By Les Clarke
Following a crash at the GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise on January 31, AG2R's Australian rider Simon Gerrans may miss the Commonwealth Games through injuries sustained in the accident. Gerrans, whose overall victory in the recent Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under made him a favourite to represent Australia in the men's road race at the Games in Melbourne, to be held from March 15-26.
A full update on Gerrans' condition is expected later today, said AG2R spokeswoman Magalie Lavenu, but after fracturing his left collarbone, rupturing his acromioclavicular ligaments and sustaining head injuries that required several stitches, Gerrans may miss up to five weeks of racing, according to initial medical reports from the hospital in Nice where he's staying.
According to the latest Cycling Australia release, Gerrans said, "I remember sitting in second wheel with 300 metres to go and that's the last thing I remembe.
"I hadn't even kicked off the wheel or anything and then there I am in the back of an ambulance. I wouldn't mind asking some of the guys who were around me what happened because I have no idea," he said.
"I have definitely broken my left collar bone and it seems I have some damage to the ligaments in my right shoulder," he said. Gerrans who also needed stitches in his head, but, "My head's as hard as nails so that's not a concern.
"I will see the specialist later today to try and resolve the mystery of my right shoulder injury." Gerrans is hopeful surgery to pin his left collar bone will be the worst of it but admits he won't know anything more until the specialist has a look at him.
"Maybe my right shoulder will just need strapping and the ideal scenario would be that I'm back on the home trainer within a week or so and back to racing as soon as possible," he said. "The team will need to adjust my racing program now as well because I was due to line up in the Tour of the Mediterranean next week and that's not going to happen."
The injuries would put him out of the running for a Games berth; and with Australian team selections submitted to Cycling Australia for approval today, changes may be forced to occur before the team is even announced.