Irvine suffers fractured hip in Tour of Taiwan crash
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Irvine suffers fractured hip in Tour of Taiwan crash

by Shane Stokes at 10:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
 
World scratch race champion and UnitedHealthcare rider undergoes operation

Martyn IrvineIrish world track champion Martyn Irvine faces a likely break from the sport of several months after he suffered a heavy fall on today’s fourth stage of the Tour of Taiwan.

The UnitedHealthcare rider crashed approximately fifty kilometres into the 115 kilometre race to Taichung and was forced out of the race as a result. He was taken to hospital where a fractured hip was diagnosed.

“The bunch was lined out, the rider ahead of him flicked sideways and Martyn looked up and didn’t have time to react before hitting a bollard,” Cycling Ireland head coach Brian Nugent told VeloNation.

Irvine was successfully operated on and has been moved to a different hospital. According to Nugent, he is receiving very good care from his UnitedHealthcare team, with the health provider helping to arrange the best possible treatment.

Irvine will remain in Taiwan for several days before returning to Europe. Given the nature of the injury, he is likely to be sidelined from training for two to three months. It is uncertain when he will be able to return to competition.

He is in the first year of a pro contract with the American UnitedHealthcare team and had a good racing programme laid out for him. He had been due to go to the United States after the Tour of Taiwan and race there for several weeks, but those plans will now be changed.

On February 21st Irvine became the first Irishman to win a track cycling world championship in over 100 years when he triumphed in the scratch race in Minsk, Belarus. That success came less than an hour after he took a silver medal in the individual pursuit, and consequently many felt that Irvine’s achievement was one of the most impressive of the worlds.

British rider Lee Rodgers is racing in the Tour of Taiwan and said that many there were disappointed to hear the news. “I heard after the race that there had been a crash with one rider taken to hospital with a broken leg. It turns out that rider was Martyn Irvine, who I'd been away in a break with the previous day,” he said. “At dinner tonight everyone I spoke to was gutted for him, he's just become World Champion and is such a nice lad. We all hope he gets back on the bike as soon as possible.”

Irvine spoke to VeloNation prior to the start of the Taiwan race and he said that while it would likely take some time to fully build his road legs after spending months concentrating on velodrome work, that he was determined to make a good transition into professional road racing.

“I have never been more motivated. The team is very positive about things. Mike [Tamayo, team director] accommodated my track racing and they are happy to help me get the road legs now. I am more motivated than ever, really.

“In terms of goals, I will work for the team. I will be opportunistic as always. But I think this year I have to be happy just to be racing. I am not going out thinking I need to win something. I just want to prove myself as a team road rider and work hard.”

Nugent said that the same determination Irvine showed in progressing to his world championship gold will stand to him in the months ahead.

“After the heights of the track, he really wanted to transfer that onto the road and show what he could do,” he said. “He spent most of latter part of yesterday’s stage in break, so he was showing good form. This news is unfortunate, but we know Martyn; he’ll definitely be back.”

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