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by Shane Stokes
January 23, 2018
Gaviria takes stage 1 of the Vuelta a San Juan; Nibali’s new programme emerges following DNS in San Juan; ‘A plate holding my eye in place:’ Stewart has delicate operation after Tour Down Under crash; TDU winner Impey to lead Mitchelton-Scott in Cadel Evans race, Chaves to make 2018 debut; Strong fields for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Races and Towards Zero Race Melbourne; Opinion: Why time bonuses are crucial to the balance of the Tour Down Under; Video: This is Cycling; Video: Cormet de Roselend via Col du Pré – Cycling Inspiration & Education
Australian rider Macey Stewart had a highly frustrating start to her Santos Tour Down Under campaign, crashing hard on the opening stage while helping her Wiggle High5 teammate Nettie Edmondson take victory. She has now undergone plastic surgery on her facial injuries, and is aiming for a quick return to training.
“On the first stage of the TDU we had had a really great team race, especially being our first race together,” she said. “Within the last 200 metres I had dropped Nettie off for the sprint – which she won – and whilst still sprinting for the finish myself I clipped a metal barricade that was protruding onto the road. As I was travelling so fast and was stopped very abruptly when hitting the barricade, I sustained injuries to most of my body.”
While a blow to her head meant that she was withdrawn from the race, it was initially thought that her injuries were not too serious. However a detailed check showed that things were much worse than that. “After a trip via ambulance to hospital and many doctors’ visits and X-rays due to the pain I was in, it was discovered I had a severe fracture/collapse in my eye socket, a fractured big toe and lots of skin off,” she said.
She is in a so-called moon boot to help her toe to heal as quickly as possible, but the eye socket fracture required more complicated attention.
“I underwent plastic surgery on my eye on Wednesday, which ended up being more invasive than first thought,” she explained. “I now have a plate replacing my orbital floor and holding my eye in place. It has taken more out of me than I thought, however, I am hoping to recover quickly and be back on an ergo as soon as possible.” It is not yet clear when she will be able to return to training on the road.