Christian Meier on stand by after Matthews crash

Thu 3 Jul 2014

Michael Matthews has been involved in a training crash in the lead up to the Tour de France suffering injuries to his left hand.

The incident occurred on Tuesday prior to his flight to the UK when the Tour de France debutant was sent on a deviation from his usual training roads due to road works and hit a speed bump.

Matthews, who has six stitches in the palm of his hand and bruises to his knee as a result of the incident, is now working with team medical staff to recover ahead of the Grand Depart in Leeds this Saturday.

Sports director Matthew White said it is a tough break for Matthews, who will be given until tomorrow to prove his fitness. 

“He is is bandaged like a mummy at the moment,” White said.

“They are going to try and loosen him up on the home trainer today and then we will try to pop him on the road tomorrow.

“It’s not an ideal scenario for anybody so close to a race but if he can pass the first few days, he will be fine.

“Physically he has a really good preparation and he is ready to go.  Certainly, he might not be 100% in the first few stages but if he can push through the pain he is going to be OK.”

Should Matthews not get up, the 23-year-old will be replaced in the Orica-GreenEDGE line up by Christian Meier.

“Meier is flying from Vancouver and will be in Manchester this afternoon so he will be our replacement if Michael is not ready to go,” White said.

“Christian in a very reliable rider, he is a great teammate and he will certainly bolstered the team in backing up our plans from day to day.

“He is a very different rider to Michael that is for sure. Michael is a winner and will be a big loss for us if he doesn’t start because there are a number of stages that he has really targeted for this Tour de France.

“But Christian’s ability to ride selflessly for his teammates will be a big asset for our other ambitions at the Tour.”