While Michael Matthews is pushing to recover from injuries sustained in a training crash in order to line up for his maiden Tour de France, Orica-GreenEdge have named Christian Meier as his replacement should the 23-year-old not heal in time. Matthews made it to the team presentation on Thursday night in Leeds and was visibly bandaged on his left-hand side.
Matthews crashed on Tuesday when sent on a detour from his usual training roads due to road works and hit a speed bump. He had six stitches inserted into his left palm and has bruises on his left-knee from the crash, but is hopeful of starting the race having worked closely with the team's medical staff
"He is bandaged like a mummy at the moment," said the team's sports director Matt White. "They are going to try and loosen him up on the home trainer today and then we will try to pop him on the road tomorrow.
"It's not an ideal scenario for anybody so close to a race but if he can pass the first few days, he will be fine.
"Physically he has a really good preparation and he is ready to go. Certainly, he might not be 100% in the first few stages but if he can push through the pain he is going to be OK."
Meier has been named as the first reserve for the team and having just raced in the Canadian national championships last week, flew from Vancouver to Manchester in order to be ready should he be given the call up for what would be his first Tour.
"Christian in a very reliable rider, he is a great teammate and he will certainly bolstered the team in backing up our plans from day to day," White said.
"He is a very different rider to Michael that is for sure. Michael is a winner and will be a big loss for us if he doesn't start because there are a number of stages that he has really targeted for this Tour de France.
"But Christian’s ability to ride selflessly for his teammates will be a big asset for our other ambitions at the Tour."
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