Luke Rowe (Team Sky) will not race again this season after sustaining a fractured scaphoid during the European Championships road race in Glasgow earlier this month. The full extent of his injury was only revealed after the Welshman had gone on to complete the Deutschland Tour last week.
Rowe underwent a scan in Cardiff this week and was diagnosed with a fractured scaphoid, which will require a plaster for the next six to eight weeks, thus bringing a slightly premature end to his season.
Rowe had been due to ride the Grand Prix de Quebec and Grand Prix de Montreal next week, though the Canadian WorldTour events were the only races left on his schedule for 2018.
“I got the injury back at the Euros going into the last lap. It was just a racing incident really – it wasn’t anyone’s fault,” Rowe said, according to the Team Sky website. “I clipped my right hand on a barrier on a right-hand bend. I got a small cut on my hand, and at the time it was quite sore, but I just got on with it.”
Rowe placed 15th at the European Championships and then raced the EuroEyes Cyclassics in Hamburg the following weekend. The 28-year-old said that he performed a reconnaissance of the Paris-Roubaix route before starting the Deutschland Tour.
“I did a Roubaix recon on the Tuesday before Deutschland Tour and then throughout that race, and certainly in the last few days, I was in quite a bit of pain. I was trying to tape the wrist but every time I hit a pothole or speed bump it was getting painful, so that’s when I thought I better get a scan,” Rowe said.
“All I had left on my race programme was Canada so there’s no chance I’ll be able to race there which is a shame. I’m going to be in a plaster cast for six to eight weeks to give myself the best chance for it to heal.”
Rowe’s race programme this season proved fuller than he could have anticipated after breaking both the tibia and fibula in his right leg in a whitewater rafting accident in August 2017. He returned to racing at the Abu Dhabi Tour in February and proceeded to compete in the cobbled Classics. He later played an important supporting role as his fellow countryman Geraint Thomas won the Tour de France.
“It’s been ridiculous really. I’ve had a season which on paper I should never have been able to have. To be able to ride the Tour de France was probably the highlight. To go there and probably be the best I’ve ever been at the Tour was incredible,” Rowe said.
“In a situation like this you’ve just got to take the positives. It’s just a broken wrist as opposed to 12 months ago and wondering whether I’d ever race a bike again. It is what it is. Now I’m back home in Cardiff and my wife is three weeks away from her due date for our baby. I’m just going to sit back and enjoy it.”