The bad luck has continued for Omega Pharma-Lotto's Matt Lloyd, who was hit by a car while training in Italy on Valentine's Day.
Lloyd, King of the Mountains in last year's Giro d'Italia was on a training ride in St Kilda near Melbourne in late December when he was involved in a traffic incident. The result was a broken right rotator cuff and damage to his upper vertebrae. It was an unfortunate end to an otherwise stellar season for the wiry Australian.
SBS' Cycling Central reports that Lloyd was on his first training ride near his European base when the latest incident happened.
"There was a lady and she was on her way to a Valentine's date and she was late," he explained. "She turned into a driveway and she wasn't looking. She said, 'sorry, sorry I'm running late for my Valentine's date.' I said, 'don't worry about it it's just my knee, make sure you're not late for cupid's arrow.' She was pretty nice and I just thought, shit happens, let it go."
Lloyd said he sustained some slight ligament damage to his knee following the accident but even then, he was optimistic about the events.
"It sort of made me take it a bit easier and not go too crazy at the start," he said. "I think it was good to build into [training] gradually and the knee made me tentative to try and replicate what it would be if I was racing."
Lloyd's first race of the season will be at the Tour of Catalunya later this month prior to his build up for the defence of his Giro d'Italia green jersey.