ADELAIDE, Australia (VN) – U.S. champion Tim Duggan (Saxo-Tinkoff) spent Thursday night in an Australian hospital wondering how long he will be off the bike.
Duggan won’t like the latest diagnosis about injuries he suffered in a high-speed crash in a roundabout in Thursday’s third stage at the Santos Tour Down Under.
Team officials confirmed that in addition to breaking his right collarbone, Duggan also fractured his left tibia. That means it could be months instead of weeks on the sidelines.
“We do not have nice news. He has also fractured his left tibia and a broken collarbone on the right side,” said Saxo sport director Fabrizio Guidi. “It will take a bit to recover. It’s hard to say how long he will be off the bike, so we must wait until the second half of the season. He is a strong rider. He will be back.”
Guidi said Duggan would likely undergo surgery on the clavicle before leaving Australia and wait for further diagnosis on his leg. Guidi visited Duggan in an area hospital on Friday morning.
“He told me he arrived too fast to the roundabout and he lost control. He said it was his fault, nothing more,” Guidi said. “When I arrived at the crash. The first thing he said, ‘sorry for crashing!’ That shows how committed he is.”
Guidi said it was too early to say when Duggan might be able to resume training or return to competition.
“Of course, he was not happy. He was asking about how long he will be off the bike. That shows he wants to be back,” Guidi said. “It is hard to say, but for sure we must wait for the second half of the season.”
Duggan told VeloNews earlier this week that he was excited about his move to Saxo for 2013 and a possible grand tour debut in the Vuelta a España. He is no stranger to the tarmac, having survived a life-threatening crash at the 2008 Tour de Georgia, among others.
“Crashing is part of cycling. I was operated eight times when I was a cyclist, that’s part of the life as a pro. We are lucky he is not more seriously injured,” Guidi said. “Timmy was very happy with this team. My sensation was that he was very happy to be with us. He could feel the support and he wanted to show his best for the team.”