Having undergone surgery for inujuries suffered as a result of his fall in Saturday's Milano-Sanremo, Stuart O'Grady is recovering and setting new objectives for the 2009 season.
Being forced to miss the Spring Classics, races in which O'Grady would have started as one of the favourites, is a bitter blow for Saxo Bank's Australain strongman. "I'm pretty devastated because I was really going well, flying under the radar and everything was looking good so I'm really disappointed," he said.
"I managed to dodge all the crashes in Tirreno (mid-March) and the carnage in Belgium so I was pretty happy with how things were going.
"I was really looking forward to leading the team into the Classics so it's very frustrating to be sidelined," he added.
O'Grady is no stranger to serious injury, and suffered life-threatening injuries in a crash at the 2007 Tour de France – during the same season he won Paris-Roubaix – and he's resigned to the fact he'll miss his favourite events of the season.
"It's healing okay so no more operations and although the doctors say at least three weeks before I can be back training I could probably be back on my bike in two," he said. "But realistically there's no point rushing back too early because I'll miss the Classics regardless and I was due to have time off after Paris-Roubaix anyway.
"But you've got to admit there's not too many years to go at this stage so when you miss one it's even more frustrating."
It means a change of plans that could bear fruit for the 35-year-old, although he's the first to admit that the Classics were his primary goal in 2009.
"I'll have to refocus the season goals because I'd pretty much put all my eggs in one basket for the Classics, but that's life," he said, adding, "I might have to look at the world championships or races later in the year now and set some different objectives."
While O'Grady's wife Anne Marie is expecting their third child, Thor Hushovd's partner was giving birth to their first in the same hospital as O'Grady, so a visit from the Norwegian – who finish third in Milano-Sanremo – was in order.