Fifth Olympics looking unlikely for unlucky Dean, operation tomorrow
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fifth Olympics looking unlikely for unlucky Dean, operation tomorrow

by VeloNation Press at 8:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Volta a Catalunya, Injury
 
Cavendish crashes in Belgium, will undergo scans today

Julian DeanFour-time Olympian Julian Dean’s goal of representing New Zealand once again at this year’s London Olympics look very uncertain after he crashed heavily during yesterday’s stage of the Volta a Catalunya. The 37 year old hit a parked car early on during the stage, and broke his leg as a result.

“We are especially distraught about this loss. From a sporting perspective, it’s terrible to lose a rider to a crash. From a personal perspective, we really feel for him,” said GreenEdge directeur sportif Neil Stephens after the stage. “He has had a lot of bad luck this year, and Catalunya was his first race back after a previous injury.

“The race took a really nervous start because of a hard climb in the opening kilometres. We went around a slippery right-hand corner, and some guys crashed in front of Julian. In an attempt to avoid them, Julian swerved and he hit a parked car.”

He said then that Dean was due to have an operation on the limb last night in Valencia, where he lives in Spain.

The team has since updated the situation, with the doctor Manuel Rodriguez explaining the nature of his leg break and confirming the operation will be tomorrow instead.

”Julian is now at the hospital in Valencia where they are taking care of his injuries. He has a fracture at the upper part of the shinbone and one on the calf bone on his right leg," he stated. "They will be doing surgery on him tomorrow and we will get an update about his recuperation as soon as possible."

It is expected that New Zealand will have two riders in the London road race. Those in contention include Greg Henderson (Lotto Belisol), Hayden Roulston (RadioShack Nissan) and Jack Bauer (Garmin-Barracuda), and it seems likely that the slots will be filled by two of these.

Dean has a lot of work ahead to get back to fitness, but will hope to do so before the end of the season. His likely missing of the Games will be a blow, though, after competing in the team pursuit in Atlanta 1996, then in the road race in Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

BikeNZ high performance director Mark Elliot said that he believed he can return to cycling. "He's a consummate professional and he's had a number significant injuries, as you do in the pro peloton, and he just keeps on coming back," he told the New Zealand Herald. "It will be up to him to decide where he's going but don't be surprised to see Julian Dean back, even after another major injury like this."

Dean broke his shoulder in December and the Volta a Catalunya was his first race this year.

Meanwhile elsewhere in Europe, Mark Cavendish also hit the deck. The world road race champion crashed during the Dwars Door Vlaanderen and made his feelings clear on Twitter afterwards.

“200km on Belgiums worst roads. All ok. 15km from finish, peloton's riding easy & a dickhead throws a bottle in my front wheel. Crashed hard.

“Said it before: EVERYONE involved in a bike race should take a written & practical test to get licence. Bottle that crashed me was Katusha.”

This drew a response from the Russian team’s advisor Erik Zabel, who assured Cavendish he would speak to the riders about what had happened.

This morning the Briton updated the situation, saying that while the shoulder didn’t feel too bad, that he was going to get a scan in order to be sure that the injury wasn’t serious.

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