A mountain bike training ride crash that ended with a broken left collarbone will see Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) miss the defence of his Australian national road race title and Tour Down Under crown in January. Gerrans will undergo surgery with his focus now on the spring classics in March.
"Unfortunately it doesn't matter how well the recovery goes from here, I don't think I am going to be in any condition to be racing at a high level in January," Gerrans said. "With that in mind I think it is better to take my time, make sure the recovery goes well and get all the rehab done so I don't have any ongoing issues.
"It's a big blow not to be able to line up in the national championships and Tour Down Under and defend my titles. They are races that I really enjoy and I know how important they are to the team. Looking on the bright side, what it does do, is force a bit of a break now and mean that I can work towards some goals later in the season and be a lot fresher."
The number three ranked rider in the world in 2014 was training on his road bike around the roads of his home town, Mansfield, before switching to his mountain bike.
"About half way through my mountain bike ride I became a little unstuck, came down and landed pretty heavily on my left side," he said. "I knew straight away as I hit the ground that I had broken my left collarbone.
"From there I had a little bit of a walk to get down to a point where I was picked up by a four-wheel drive and went directly to Mansfield hospital to get cleaned up and have the x-ray to confirm."
Gerrans is expected to allow the collarbone between one week and ten days to heal before getting back on the bike.
Orica-GreenEdge's sports director Matt White explained the accident is 'disappointing' but believes it won't be long before Gerrans is back to winning races.
"As always he had worked very hard to get himself into peak condition and that is disappointing for him to have it go somewhat to waste. But he is the ultimate professional; he will be back on the bike in no time and hunting down his next victory before we know it," White said.
Gerrans is a two-time national Australian champion having won the green-and-gold jersey in 2012 and 2014 and three time Tour Down Under winner (2006, 2012 and 2014).