Stuart O'Grady Update
O'Grady recovering after surgery:
South Australia's Stuart O'Grady is recovering at his home in Monaco after surgery in the wake of a crash in Saturday's Milan-San Remo.
O'Grady came down around 30 kilometres into the 298km race when a rider crashed in front of him.
"We were doing about 55km/h and had just hit a pavé section when a guy in front of me just wiped out and I had absolutely nowhere to go except right into him," said O'Grady from his home in Monaco.
He suffered a punctured lung, broken right collar bone and a broke a rib in his back.
"I've been worse," joked O'Grady who during the 2007 Tour de France suffered major injuries including multiple rib fractures, a punctured lung and a broken right shoulder. "This one's nothing really."
But while O'Grady's sense of humour survived the crash his bid to post a win in one of the major Spring Classics events has not.
"I'm pretty devastated because I was really going well, flying under the radar and everything was looking good so I'm really disappointed," said the Saxo Bank rider. "I managed to dodge all the crashes in Tirreno (mid-March) and the carnage in Belgium (races) so I was pretty happy with how things were going.
"I was really looking forward to leading the team into the Classics so it's very frustrating to be sidelined," said O'Grady who will now miss the Tour of Flanders, the Amstel Gold Race and Paris-Roubaix, the Queen of the Classics that he won in 2007.
Initally doctors sent the 35 year old home but a second look at his x-rays saw him back in hospital and undergoing surgery on Saturday night.
"I first went to hospital in Italy but was transferred back to Monaco where they did some x-rays and tests," explained O'Grady. "The doctor didn't find anything and I was pretty shocked when he said nothing was broken and told me to go home and rest.
"But when I got back home the phone rang and another doctor said can you come back to emergency please," he said. "It was a little bit freaky.
Surgeons operated to insert a tube into his chest to drain fluid and today told him they are happy with the results.
"It's healing okay so no more operations and although the doctors say at least three weeks before I can be back training I could probably be back on my bike in two," said O'Grady. "But realistically there's no point rushing back too early because I'll miss the Classics regardless and I was due to have time off after Paris-Roubaix anyway."
O'Grady's toughness is renowned in the peloton and he has demonstrated his ability to come back from injuries many times during his career.
"But you've got to admit there's not too many years to go at this stage so when you miss one it's even more frustrating."
O'Grady says he's discuss with team management a revised plan for his 2009 season.
"I'll have to refocus the season goals because I'd pretty much put all my eggs in one basket for the Classic, but that's life," said O'Grady. "Might have to look at the World Championships or races later in the year now and set some different objectives."
In the meantime he'll enjoy some time at home with his two children and wife Anne Marie, who is pregnant with their third child.
In a strange coincidence the wife of cyclist Thor Hushovd, who placed third in Saturday's race, was in labour down the hall in the same hospital as O'Grady.
"Thor popped into see me yesterday after he saw his wife and new baby."