Danish prospect Mathias Norsgaard Jørgensen was all set for his first season at WorldTour level.
The 22-year-old has been picked up by Movistar, having won a stage of the Tour de l’Avenir this season and finishing fourth in the under-23 World Championship time trial.
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But Norsgaard has been forced to delay the start of his first year racing at the highest tier in cycling, after he was hit by a car while training in Girona, Spain.
While riding in wet conditions, a driver pulled in front of Norsgaard who then didn’t have time to brake. The crash left him with a severely broken leg and he will not be able to race for six months.
In an interview with Sport TV 2 in Denmark, he said: “It’s awful. I’m here in the hospital and I’ve really hurt myself.
“My preparations went so well and I was looking forward to getting started and then it was all ruined.
“Fortunately I’ve signed for two years with Movistar, but breaking my leg is the worst possible start.”
Norsgaard suffered a broken tibia in two places and will need surgery.
The crash happened in a small suburb of Girona, a training hotspot for the pros, as Norsgaard rode cautiously on the wet roads.
When he was just a few metres from a passing car, the vehicle turned in front of him to enter a car park, taking out the rider in the process.
He said: “I couldn’t do anything. I drover into the bumper of the car and flew into a lamppost. If I hadn’t hit the lamp post, the main injury wouldn’t have happened, because I didn’t have a wound on my body.
“I hit the lamp post
In late November, Spanish WorldTour team Movistar announced they had signed Norsgaard from Denmark’s Riwal Readynez team after a stellar 2019 season.
Norsgaard will be the tallest rider to ever be part of the team at over two metres, and is a rising talent in time trials.
Movistar highlighted his ride the Tour de l’Avenir, in which he rode in a 120km breakaway and finished the final 30km alone to take the stage honours.
He is one of a number of young riders joining Movistar next season, including Britain’s Gabriel Cullaigh who previously rode for Wiggins-Le Col.