After abandoning the Giro d’Italia due to a serious saddle sore, it still remains uncertain whether Jai Hindley’s injury will hold over a three-week race. The Australian’s program for the remainder of the season will now consist of shorter racing blocks that better suit his current capacity, allowing for more rest and recovery in between. He will be replaced at the Vuelta a España by Chris Hamilton, who has been preparing for this potential scenario over the past months whilst Hindley’s participation had been uncertain.
Hindley said: “There have been ups and downs over the last few months and because of that we wanted to wait until closer to the Vuelta, once I’d also had a race in my legs, to make the final call. I felt good this weekend and like the form is really coming along, but after discussing with the team’s doctor, we decided that at this stage it’s sensible to focus on shorter races so we take no risks and things continue on this upward trend. Whilst it’s of course disappointing, we are all motivated to not let the hard work we’ve put in during the last period go to waste, so we will really go for it with my new program, which is built of shorter races where we feel that I can really bring value in as the team’s finisher. I am happy the team puts my wellbeing at the first priority and with the new program we have some great goals where I’m motivated to bring home some strong results for the team.”
Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “We’ve worked hard together with Jai and invested a lot of time together intensively to manage his recovery carefully after the Giro. Through this we were still not completely confident that Jai would be able to manage a three-week long race so we kept his Vuelta participation open, with a very good plan B. The Vuelta is a big goal for the team, but at this stage, shorter races suit him best. We believe that Jai can pick up some good results as finisher for us with a program built of shorter blocks which suit his current capacity very well. In the background we have been preparing for this scenario and Chris has been training and working hard, so that he’s race ready for the Vuelta.”
Hindley is now set to ride the Tour de Pologne, Bretagne Classic, Tour de Slovaquie and Il Lombardia where he will be able to put his good shape to use. As a result of this, Hindley will also not start at the Vuelta a Burgos for Team DSM this week, and instead will be replaced by Chris Hamilton.