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Jarrad Drizners has surgery following UAE Tour crash abdominal trauma

MADINAT ZAYED UNITED ARAB EMIRATES FEBRUARY 20 Jarrad Drizners of Australia and Team Lotto Soudal competes during the 4th UAE Tour 2022 Stage 1 a 184km stage from Madinat Zayed to Madinat Zayed UAETour WorldTour on February 20 2022 in Madinat Zayed United Arab Emirates Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Jarrad Drizners (Lotto Soudal) riding alongside teammate Michael Schwarzmann during stage 1 of the UAE Tour (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

After being caught up in a crash on stage 6 of the UAE Tour, which caused abdominal trauma, Australian neo-pro Jarrad Drizners has had successful surgery with his Lotto Soudal team saying in a medical update that this ruled out earlier concerns that there may be further injuries.

The crash occurred just a little before the line on the second last stage of the UAE Tour, as the bunch was lining up for a sprint for sixth place in a stage where the break survived, with Mathias Vacek (Gazprom-Rusvelo) taking victory from the five out the front. In the back half of the field a heavy fall was visible involving a number of riders and, while a number of those involved picked themselves up and headed to the finish line, Drizners and EF Education-EasyPost rider Sean Quinn remained on the ground, both clearly in pain. 

Given the proximity of the fall to the line, both were put on the bottom of the results sheet as finishers. Quinn started the final stage, but didn’t finish, while Drizners remained in hospital undergoing further examinations to see if surgery was required for the abdominal trauma. It was and that surgery is now complete.

“Jarrad Drizners has had a successful surgery on the injuries he sustained at a crash in the sixth stage of the UAE Tour,” said Lotto Soudal in a medical update.

“There were concerns about possible additional injuries, but the surgery ruled that out. Drizners will further recover in the hospital in the United Arabic Emirates until he can travel home. A doctor of Lotto Soudal and a doctor of the UAE Tour are with him at the hospital.”

Lotto Soudal added in a post on social media that "the entire team wishes Jarrad a speedy recovery."

Drizners made his debut for the team at the Saudia Tour, where he stepped straight into Caleb Ewan’s sprint lead out train with immediate success, as his compatriot took victory on the opening stage. He was set to play that lead-out role again in the UAE Tour but Ewan had a change of plan – heading to the Tour du Var and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne instead – following an illness he later confirmed was COVID-19. He wasn’t the only rider out of the line up for the team either, which meant a squad of just four, including Drizners, ended up going to the UAE Tour. 

Drizners stepped up to Lotto Soudal this year, signing a two-year contract with the WorldTour team after spending two years with Axel Merckx's Hagens Berman Axeon development team. The 2020 U23 national road race champion, who came fourth overall at the Flanders Tomorrow Tour in 2021, followed compatriot Harry Sweeny into Ewan’s sprint lead out, with the rider at the time of joining having said he would currently describe himself as a puncheur and classic rider.

Now, unfortunately, it looks like he'll have to wait a little longer to further explore exactly where his strengths lie.

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Simone joined the team as Production Editor based in Australia at the start of the 2021 season, having previously worked as Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg.