Marc Hirschi will be out of action for up to eight weeks after he fractured his forearm in a crash on the opening stage of the Volta ao Algarve.
Although the Swiss rider was able to remount and reach the finish in Lagos, he was a non-starter on stage 2.
On Thursday morning, UAE Team Emirates confirmed Hirschi’s injury and indicated that he was unlikely to be fit to race again until mid-April, severely compromising his prospects of being competitive at the Ardennes Classics.
“Unfortunately following a crash on stage 1 of the Volta Algarve @MarcHirschi has been diagnosed with a fractured right radius bone,” read a statement from the team on social media. (opens in new tab)
“He will travel home for further medical supervision and is expected to be out for up to 8 weeks. Wishing Marc a speedy recovery.”
Hip surgery and illness hindered Hirschi in 2022 but he finished the year on a high with victories at the Giro della Toscana and the Veneto Classic.
“I hope I can take this level with me into the next season and maybe take a step to win a big race,” Hirschi told reporters after the latter victory in Bassano del Grappa in October.
Hirschi started his 2023 season in Australia, where he placed 11th overall at the Tour Down Under and 8th at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race.
Earlier this week, the 2020 Flèche Wallonne winner joined up with Tadej Pogacar for victory at the Clásica Jaén Paraiso Interior while helping himself to fourth place, a performance that had appeared to augur well for his Classics campaign.
Now he faces another set-back and long return from injury.
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