Injury Update: Simon Yates Post Tour of Turkey Crash

Wed 7 May 2014

Stage three of the Tour of Turkey, the queen stage, was a bittersweet day for ORICA-GreenEDGE. On a day when Simon Yates was the protected rider, he was sent to hospital with a broken collarbone. His twin brother Adam soldiered on to climb himself within 6” of the overall lead. Simon left the race, Girona-bound, and watched Adam bide his time until stage six when he took over the lead by 1” with an impressive win in Selcuk.

The evening after Adam moved into the race lead, Simon underwent surgery. Simon spent his first day home from the hospital post-operation cheering on Adam to the overall victory on the final day of the Turkish tour.  

Now several days out from surgery, Simon answers our questions about his injury and his recovery ahead.

Q: How did the crash happen?

It was quite a stupid crash. I went to jump across to a move that was going up the road. I was out of my saddle trying to sprint when my chain snapped. My knee hit the handlebars causing me to lose control and I came crashing down. I was the only one to go down since I had a bit of a gap. I landed right on my shoulder. It all happened so fast. There was no way to avoid it.

Q: Did you know right away that you had broken your collarbone?

No, I thought I just had the usual scrapes and bruises. After getting up, I was a bit out of it but I wanted to keep riding. The team car came up to me and gave me a new bike. I jumped back on and tried to ride for another five kilometres. As we were going down a descent, it was too bumpy to hold onto the bars properly. That’s when I realized I had broken my collarbone.

Q: What is your outlook for recovery time?

I had surgery on Friday when they fixed my clavicle with six screws. Now I’m back home in UK where I’ll train on the ergo. While I am here, my parents are looking after me. Once I can ride on the road again, I’ll go straight back to Girona to start training properly.

If all goes to plan, I could be back as early as Bayern Rundfahrt - that’s if everything goes exactly to plan. Bayern will be my mark but if I miss it, then I’ll do a few one days and the next stage race would be Tour of Slovenia.

Q: How are you feeling about your crash and what lies ahead?

At the moment, I am thinking pretty positively. Right after surgery, I was still gutted, especially with the races coming up where I could have done really well, like the Tour of California. Now I’m coming around to thinking it’s not too bad. A forced break will allow me to freshen up a bit. I have plenty of time to come back fresh and be amongst it at the races later in the season.

Q: What were you thinking as you watched your brother fight to win the overall in Turkey?

I was nervous watching Adam. Holding onto a 1” until the final day was pretty nerve wracking.

For him it was probably a good thing I crashed because I was the protected rider that day. Without me in the race, it was easier for him to pull it out of the bag. Obviously, I am really happy for him.