The French rider had been named as the AG2R La Mondiale team leader for the WorldTour race but is set to return to France for surgery, with 22-year-old neo-pro Aurelien Paret-Peintre travelling out to the UAE to take Latour’s place in Sunday’s opening team time trial.
"He has a fractured left wrist (scaphoid and lower radius). He will be operated on his return to France and should be unavailable for at least six weeks,” Dr. Eric Bouvat, the medical director of the AG2R La Mondiale team said in a brief statement.
He had started his 2019 season at the Tour Down Under in Australia but had hoped to shine in the UAE Tour. Latour is the French national time trial champion and considered a talented stage race rider. He finished 13th in the 2018 Tour de France while supporting Romain Bardet and won the best young rider’s white jersey.
The UAE Tour begins on Sunday with a 16km team time trial in Abu Dhabi. There are three stages for sprinters, with Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe), Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) all targeting success.
The seven stages include two mountain finishes, with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), Michel Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First) expected to emerge as overall contenders for final victory next Saturday.
Cyclingnews will have live coverage of every stage of the UAE Tour, with news and interviews from Sadhbh O’Shea in the UAE.