Gerrans and his teammate Daryl Impey were involved in a large crash that took down a significant portion of the peloton during Sunday's race. The defending champion was able to remount his bike but came off just a few kilometres down the road, slipping on the wet roads.
Fortunately for Gerrans, these latest incidents have not had the season-changing-impact that his earlier ones did. “He's ok, bit of skin off, bit of bark off here and there but nothing that's going to affect him," Orica-GreenEdge directeur sportif Matt White told Cyclingnews.
"For sure it would have been frustrating because we're not only looking to win these races but it's part of his preparation for the Giro, so to get so close and just when the race started to be affected by that it's a little disappointing but we've got some big goals coming up in the next couple of weeks and he's getting there."
Gerrans came into the Ardennes with very little racing under his belt, after two serious injuries, meant that he only completed his first race at the Vuelta a La Rioja earlier this month. He’s since ridden the Vuelta al País Vasco and Amstel Gold but still lacks the racing miles that many of his competitors have. Going into the Ardennes races, Gerrans admitted he would not be at 100 per cent but White is happy with how his star rider has bounced back and believes that he will be back at his best for the Giro d'Italia in May.
"I think most other riders wouldn't have been able to follow the rehab that he's had to go through and with two setbacks, they were quite major setbacks, in the season to be at the level that he's at after eight days of competition it's just a credit to his mentality as well," White said. “It would have been interesting to see how he would have gone today but we’ll never know.
"He's still got Romandie before he goes to the Giro so I expect him to be 100 per cent going into the Giro, another stage race will do him the world of good. I think this is his ninth race day of the year, so it's not much at all."
Orica-GreenEdge were able to make the most out of a bad situation, with Esteban Chaves making it into a break with Michele Scarponi. Pieter Weening was the team's top finisher in 14th, while Simon Yates held onto the group of favourites up to the final classified climb in his debut at the race.
"It's all you can do when you're leader has been involved in a crash. We've had a very solid classics so far, it's not the nicest way to finish off but it is what it is,” he shrugged.
"We told Pieter he could go out for his own ride, after the leaders got disturbed in that crash and 14th place is not too bad either."
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