Jack Haig has been forced to withdraw from the Australian squad for the Tokyo Olympics as Bahraini runner Victorious faces a longer-than-expected recovery from the collarbone fracture he suffered during a fall during stage 3 of the Tour de France.
The 25-year-old Australian had hoped to recover in time for the men’s 234-kilometer road race on July 24, which tackles 4,865 meters of elevation gain on a course that includes the outer slopes of Mount Fuji. However, another rider will now be selected to represent the nation alongside Richie Porte – who was on the Tour de France podium last year – two-time time trial world champion Rohan Dennis and Lucas Hamilton, both that his injury at the Tour de France won’t. It doesn’t turn out to be a problem as well.
“Unfortunately, my fracture was a lot worse than I expected,” Haig said in an Instagram post. “The operation was long and more invasive than normal, which extended the recovery period. Hope to be out on the bike by the end of this week. Unfortunately, that means I’m going to miss the Olympics.
Haig said the Australian Olympic team had been very understanding and allowed as much time as possible to recover, but that he wouldn’t be ready soon enough.
“On the plus side, it allowed me to spend time at home with the family and enjoy the summer while I recuperate,” Haig said.
This is the second change to the squad since the announcement of the Olympic caps, with Australian champion Cameron Meyer bowing down to spend time with his family as his father battles stage 4 brain cancer. replaced by his Team BikeExchange teammate Hamilton, but the 25-year-old has also suffered an injury since his selection. He withdrew from the Tour de France after a fall in Stage 13, suffering from a right shoulder injury with x-rays showing an acromioclavicular dislocation, or AC joint.
Hamilton and Haig are both part of the rising generation of young Australians making their mark in some of the biggest races, both lining up to lead the GC challenge for their teams at the Tour de France this year. The same goes for Ben O’Connor of AG2R Citroën, who currently occupies fifth place in the general classification and won the top finish in Tignes on the 9th stage.
Haig had started his Tour well, going after the best of all Australians in the crash-marred opening stage. He finished stage 1 with fourth place and finished stage 2 in tenth place, before the fall in the last kilometers of stage 3 not only signaled the end of his Tour de France, but not also ruins his chances of making his Olympic debut.
There will be plenty of options to replace Haig given the recent emergence of a number of Australian riders who are suitable for a heavy uphill route. O’Connor is clearly pulling on the climbs, but he’s not the only one. Last year Jai Hindley made his mark by taking second place in the Giro d’Italia 2020, although the fact that his current racing form is somehow an unknown could work against him as he did not pin. number since his withdrawal from this Grand Tour of Italy of the year with an extremely painful saddle wound. Nick Schultz recently showed his abilities in a supporting role, backing Team BikeExchange leader Simon Yates at the Giro d’Italia, but he too has seen a lull since leaving the race after Stage 17 with a broken hand.
Then there is the possibility of turning to a more established rider like Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange), who has made no secret of his ambitions to represent the nation, with his time trial skills an asset as well as his workaholic ability on the road. The 30-year-old West Australian may not be known for his ability to climb, but he has been important in stage breaks with solid climbs this Tour de France, a move that could potentially dispel some doubts about its ability to hang on to it long enough. be a useful teammate when the road presents itself.
AusCycling Performance Director Simon Jones said in a statement that the selection committee is currently discussing the appropriate options to nominate a replacement AOC rider for the selection of the men’s road team for the Games. Tokyo.