Alvaro Hodeg has undergone surgery on the fractured shoulder he sustained in a crash at the Tour de l'Eurométropole and will return to Colombia in the coming days to continue his convalescence. It is estimated that the Deceuninck-QuickStep rider will be off the bike for a total of six weeks during his recovery.
Hodeg suffered a left forearm fracture, a right shoulder fracture and two fractured ribs when he crashed heavily in the final kilometre of the Tour de l'Eurométropole in Tournai after he was brought down by the feet of a roadside barrier.
Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) and Jacopo Guarnieri (Groupama-FDJ) were among riders to criticise the ongoing use of this style of barrier in races. "Flat feet barriers are available everywhere in the world!" Trentin wrote on Twitter.
Hodeg underwent surgery in Roeselaere on Sunday. Deceuninck-QuickStep reported that the 23-year-old did not suffer a rupture of the bicep tendon as originally feared. He has since left hospital and will travel home to Colombia early next week.
"It's not easy, but what hurts me the most is to finish my season in this way, especially as there were a few more opportunities to add to my 2019 tally," said Hodeg in a statement on Tuesday. "On the other hand, I am grateful that it wasn't anything worse and want to thank to everyone – team, doctors and fans – for their help and well wishes."
"I will now rest and count the days until I can return on the bike and start my preparations for what I hope to be an even more successful season with the Wolfpack."
Hodeg will spend three weeks in a cast and will then have a further three weeks off the bike before he can begin training for the 2020 season. The Colombian sprinter won seven races in his second season at Deceuninck-QuickStep, including a stage of the BinckBank Tour and last week's Münsterland Giro.