World championship cycling medallist Wes Gough has broken his forearm during the New Zealand team’s latest race in Belgium.
Gough and the rest of the BikeNZ team were caught in a mass pile-up during the Phil Van Conningsloo Memorial race in Belgium.
The team, consisting mostly of the BikeNZ endurance track squad preparing for the Commonwealth Games, were racing strongly in the peloton on a fast downhill that moved on to a bumpy section of cobbles, made super-slippery after torrential rain that fell just before the start of the 185km race.
Several leading riders fell, bringing down much of the peloton including Gough and BikeNZ teammates Shane Archbold, Aaron Gate and Nelson rider George Bennett, who filled in for the injured Tom Scully.
Gough (Waipukurau) suffered the worst of the injuries, with a fractured lower forearm and is likely to miss next week’s Thuringen Runfahrt stage race in Germany. The injury is not expected to jeopardise his Commonwealth Games preparations.
Waikato’s Shem Rodger was the best of the New Zealanders who completed the race, finishing 35th, with Canterbury’s Ruaraidh Mcleod in 46th.
Meanwhile Scully has had surgery on his right knee after crashing in The Ras Tour in Ireland last week.
His injuries were initially not considered too serious but further MRI scans revealed that the young Southland rider had torn ligaments in and around his right knee. Scully has had surgery in Galway Hospital, following an initial minor operation for compartment syndrome to relieve swelling in his leg.
He is expected to return home to Invercargill later this month to recover and be back riding in the spring with his place in the team for New Delhi in doubt at this stage.
“It’s a real disappointment for Tom who had been riding so well,” BikeNZ High Performance Director, Mark Elliott said. “Reports initially indicated, as there was no break, that it was not too serious.
“However it is going to take time to heal. It’s too early to say that he will be definitely out for Delhi but it does not look too promising. Our medical team have been in close communication with the hospital and will guide his recovery once back in New Zealand.
“This is a setback for Tom who has a tremendous future in front of him in the sport.”