Gerrans believes rejigged schedule after hip injury could boost his early season form
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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Gerrans believes rejigged schedule after hip injury could boost his early season form

by VeloNation Press at 8:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under, Injury
 
Australian back on bike after Vuelta fracture, will ride Santos Tour Down Under and possibly Herald Sun Tour

Simon GerransOrica GreenEdge rider Simon Gerrans is continuing to recover from the fractured hip he sustained in the Vuelta a España. He has been able to get back on the bike and actually believes he could be in better form than usual in January, when he will likely line out in the Santos Tour Down Under.

Gerrans’ progress has the rider in an optimistic frame of mind, and an earlier than expected break from competition could work in his favour.

“I'll be at Tour Down Under,” he confirmed to the Herald Sun. “We're yet to make a decision about what I'll do following that but I'll put a big emphasis on being in good shape in January and trying to make the most of the unfortunate end of this season and use that to my advantage early next year.”

Gerrans, who won the Santos Tour Down Under in 2006 and 2012, is a two time victor in the Herald Sun Tour race. It has returned to the UCI calendar and will be held as a 2.1 event between February 5th to 9th. He said there is also a chance he could ride that race, although it will depend on what the stage details are like.

“I'll wait to make a decision on whether I do it once I have that information.”

Gerrans had a strong 2013 season, winning a stage in the Santos Tour Down Under and also taking stage victories in the Volta a Catalunya and the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. He was third in the Amstel Gold Race.

The opening week of the Tour de France was the highlight, though, with a stage win on day three and a team time trial victory 24 hours later putting him in the yellow jersey.

He hoped for a good showing on stages in the Vuelta a España and then a strong worlds campaign, but those plans were derailed when he crashed hard on stage three of the Spanish event. He continued on in the race for a further ten days, but withdrew when it became clear that his hip injury was more serious than initially thoughts.

“I was aware that I'd hurt it in some way but not quite aware of what,” he explained. “I had the goal of the world championships and knew I had to get through a certain amount of the Tour of Spain to prepare.

“But it was becoming more and more painful and uncomfortable and I was doing everything I could just to get through each stage.”

He returned to Australia and has concentrated on his recovery there. While he has been told to take it easy, he was able to do a fifty kilometre ride last week and things are clearly progressing well.

“The doctor said I should rest it completely for five or six weeks but I get a little impatient, I guess.”

Still, there’s a bright side. The fracture wasn’t as severe as it might have been and the rejigged schedule could put him in strong form for the Santos Tour Down Under and, after that, Milan Sanremo. He won the Classic in 2012 and would seize any chance of doing so again.

“With this injury finishing my 2013 season that bit earlier, it will mean my pre-season will be a couple of weeks in front of where it normally would be. So hopefully it will put me in better shape for January,” he said.

Gerrans’ chances of taking another title in La Primavera have been boosted by the organiser’s decision to put in a new climb, that of Pompeiaga.

It will slot in between the Cipressa and the Poggio, and will boost the chances of the climbers over the pure sprinters.

Gerrans is a powerful rider on short climbs and is also a fast finisher from a small group. He’ll consequently give a thumbs up to the modified course design, and work hard to be in top shape for the Classic.

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