O'Grady's Injuries Worse Than Expected
Forced to skip the classics.
The situation proved to be worse than expected for Team Saxo Bank's Stuart O'Grady after yesterday's crash in Milano-Sanremo. On Saturday evening the Australian rider was brought in for further examinations at a clinic in Monaco, where O'Grady was diagnosed with a fracture in his right collarbone, an additional fracture on a rib, and an edema between O'Grady's lungs and ribs.
"Stuart was sent home from the clinic with a report stating that he had been lucky with only a few bruises after his crash, but when they looked more carefully at the X-ray images, he was called back. The most serious is his edema between the lungs and ribs, which required surgery yesterday and he might have to go back to get more. Even though his fractures are minor, and that they get rid of the edema, it is not likely that he gets on the bike and will be able to train hard in the next few weeks. Seen in that perspective, the classics, unfortunately, are over for Stuart," commented Team Saxo Bank physician Piet De Moor.
"Stuart is a tough guy, and if everything goes well he can come back and go fast again in a month's time. He has certainly had his share of accidents in his career, but I think on the other hand, that he - if anyone - has the strength and morale to come back quickly, " De Moor added.
"It is extremely sad to see the classics disappear for my part, because of a crash. The past several months of hard work had a purpose and focus: classics and especially Paris-Roubaix. Now I see it all crumble, but hopefully I get the opportunity to come back later," a sad O'Grady said.
"Nobody can replace the experience and what Stuart would contribute to our classic lineup, and it is really unfortunate that he will be missing out on the races he is best at. He had timed his form perfectly for the cobblestone races, and in my point of view, he was destined to be one of our main riders who could have been there in the finals. I am personally sorry on his behalf and he certainly has not been lucky when it comes to crashes in his career. The whole team wishes him a speedy recovery and we hope to see him back in peak shape soon," said team owner Bjarne Riis.