Kristoffer Halvorsen (Team Sky) travels home Monday after fracturing his hand in a late crash during the People's Choice Classic in Adelaide on Sunday. The race was won by world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).
The 21-year-old was making his debut in Team Sky colours after signing for the team in the tail end of 2017. He arrived in Australia as the team's go-to sprinter for the Classic and the upcoming Tour Down Under. Upon arriving in the United Kingdom he will immediately be transported to hospital for surgery. The crash took place inside the final kilometre of the Adelaide based Criterium as Halvorsen was fighting for position.
"I was coming from behind on the right side. A few of the guys started going to the right and I ran out of space. I went into the barriers. If I hadn't broken my hand it would have been OK - I have hardly any scratches on me," he said in a statement issued by the team.
Although the crash is a set back for the young rider, he believes that he can back in training relatively soon. No date has of course been set for his competitive return but he will be out for several weeks at least.
"I can be back on the turbo really quickly because it's just my hand, but it's hard to say how long until I'll be back in action.
"Of course it's really disappointing, but this is cycling - sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you crash. I was really looking forward to this trip but now we'll try and make the best of the situation."
Team Sky's doctor on the race, Richard Usher, confirmed the news:
"Kristoffer was taken to hospital after the stage and, unfortunately, it's been confirmed that he has fractured a bone in his right hand, so he won't be able to race in the Tour Down Under.”
Last year Team Sky lost Owain Doull in the build-up to the Tour Down Under due to case appendicitis. Team Sky was able to draft in Kenny Elissonde at the time as he was training with Chris Froome in Australia. Team Sky has no plans to fly out another rider but head into the race with Egan Bernal as their candidate for the overall classification.