Gerrans return penciled in for Basque

Thu 19 Mar 2015

The return of 2014 Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner Simon Gerrans has been penciled in for the Vuelta al País Vasco in early April following his elbow injury sustained at the Strade Bianche.

Gerrans had ambitious aims to maintain his existing racing program, including next week’s Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, but following a specialist consultation today will postpone his return to ensure adequate rehabilitation. 

“I had my elbow fracture checked by a specialist today and unfortunately my recovery isn’t to a point where I’m able to ride on the road, so I will need to skip the Volta Catalunya,” Gerrans said.

“For the moment I will continue to do a lot of work on the home trainer and will hopefully get back out on the road in the near future.

“At this stage, my next race is set to be Tour of the Basque Country in a couple of weeks time.”

With the Classics season set to begin this weekend with Milano-Sanremo and the Ardennes amongst identified targets for the 34-year-old this season, Gerrans said he would return to racing before making any further changes to his program.

“It’s still too early to rule out the second part of the Classics,” Gerrans said. “We’ll make a decision on my schedule once I am back racing.”

The Strade Bianche was Gerrans’ first race of 2015 following an off-season crash that required surgery. An insipid incident in the bunch saw the 34-year-old fall over the front of his bike and land awkwardly on his arm, causing the elbow fracture.

Sport director Matt White said the two-time Australian champion’s recovery was of highest importance, but that racing condition will also be a vital consideration in re-evaluating his calendar going forward.

“The most important thing right now is Simon’s recovery and once he’s able to race, we’ll see how we can best manage his program going onwards,” White said.

“The fact that he might already be on the road in a couple of weeks is still very good progress, but it’s not the time of year where you can jump into the biggest races and expect to be in with a winning chance.

“His condition is definitely good, but he needs races to really be competitive at his highest level, so we’ll evaluate and potentially redefine his next goals once he’s back on the road.

“He’s the type of rider who can target and win most races, so it’s more a question of what to aim at, once he’s back.”

ORICA-GreenEDGE’s lineup for the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, including Gerrans’ replacement, will be announced in the coming days.