Included in his team's long list for the opening grand tour of the season at the Giro d'Italia had no doubt given Barry Markus extra incentive to train and race well in the early part of the year. The 21-year-old had been doing just that but a crash at the one-day Tro Bro Leon race, won by Francis Mourey (FDJ) has ended his dream of riding the Italian three-week race.
Medical examinations following his crash, where he failed to finish, discovered he had broken his thumb. The Vacansoleil-DCM rider will reportedly need to refrain from racing for at least a couple of weeks and will subsequently be ill-prepared for what would have been his biggest challenge since signing in the later part of 2011 with the Dutch ProTeam.
"I wanted to ride the Giro," said Markus about having to miss the opportunity to go up against some of the fastest sprinters in the world. Markus had previously discounted starting the Giro however, his recent comments combined with his name appearing on the team's long list suggested otherwise.
With his young legs still to ride a race more than a week long it's likely that he will be overlooked for the Tour de France, leaving the mountainous Vuelta a España in the later part of the season as his next realistic chance.
Markus had been rivalling some of the best sprinters including Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) and Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) during the early part of the season and a start at the Giro would have been an exciting opportunity for the Dutchman and his team.
Picking up results at races like Tour Down Under, three podium placings at the Tour of Qatar and more recently third at Scheldeprijs had given 21-year-old Barry Markus high hopes to make a grand tour debut but his untimely injury should see him back to racing relatively soon.