Luke Rowe confirms return to racing at Abu Dhabi Tour after career-threatening injury

The Welshman will head to the Middle East and race for the first time since a career-threatening injury

Luke Rowe wins stage two of the 2017 Jayco Herald Sun Tour (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

Luke Rowe will return to action for Team Sky at the Abu Dhabi Tour in February, racing for the first time since breaking his leg in 25 places last year.

The career-threatening injury, which occurred after Rowe jumped into shallow water on a rafting trip for his brother's stag do, left the 27-year-old spending the last part of 2017 and the off-season in rehabilitation.

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Rowe posted a message on his Facebook page on Friday confirming he'd be heading to the Middle East for the stage race between February 21-25, saying "I never though I'd be in a position to race at the end of February" considering the diagnosis of the injury, which happened in August.

"A lot of people have asked when I'll start racing and what I'll do next, so I though I'd let you know” he said in the video message.

"A lot of the season will be a big question mark. I'm not really sure what will happen for the rest of the season but I know that my first race back will be Abu Dhabi.

"I'm looking forward to getting back with the team. They've given me the best support possible and that is part of the reason I'm back so soon, for sure."

Rowe was able to return to riding relatively quickly after the start of his rehabilitation, and was able to join Team Sky for their annual December training camp in Mallorca, and said he had recently completed his longest ride yet of five and a half hours.

A Classics specialist, while Rowe was able to confirm his initial return to racing, he was unable to shed any light on whether a Classics campaign might be possible, saying there was a question mark over how his injury would hold up on the cobbles. Likewise, a Grand Tour ride in 2018 is also an unknown.

"It's unbelievable to think that I'll be back that soon to racing. It's just a couple of weeks away now. From the diagnosis that I had at the start and partway through the rehab, I never though I'd be in a position to race at the end of February. So, it's just been amazing, really.

"I could go to Abu Dhabi and be good and be a benefit to the team or I could just get my ass handed to me - I'm not really sure.

"I'd love to ride the Classics. I love them races, they are where my heart is. But with the type of injury I sustained, with the cobbles, I'm not sure how that will play out."

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Richard Windsor

Follow on Twitter: @richwindy

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).