Tadej Pogačar fractures wrist and undergoes surgery after crashing out of Liège-Bastogne-Liège

The Slovenian rider was hoping to complete an historic Ardennes Triple

Tadej Pogačar
(Image credit: Getty)

Tadej Pogačar has suffered multiple fractures to his left wrist and will undergo surgery to repair the injury after crashing out of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The Slovenian was bidding to win an historic Ardennes Triple but he was brought down in a crash along with Mikkel Honoré of EF Education - Easy Post after 85km of racing. Both riders abandoned as a result.

UAE-Team Emirates' medical director Dr Adrian Rotunno later confirmed that the team's star rider would require surgery. "Tadej suffered fractures to the left scaphoid and lunate bones," Dr Rotunno said in a team statement. "The scaphoid will require surgery which he will undergo this afternoon with a specialist hand surgeon here in Genk."

Mauro Gianetti, the team principal, told Eurosport: "It's not good news. He has multiple fractures to his left wrist and also a fracture on his lunate bone but he will not need a surgery on that one. 

"He was there with a doctor and we let him go into the hospital for an MRI. I want to speak with him after the surgery. 

"What happened is [there was] a double puncture of Mikkel Honoré and with the explosion of the tyres it caused the crash and they got involved. That's something that happens in cycling unfortunately."

Pogačar was the favourite to repeat his 2021 victory having already won Amstel Gold and La Flèche Wallonne in the previous seven days. The win was eventually taken by Remco Evenepoel for the second successive year.

Twenty-four year old Pogačar has been drawing comparisons with Eddy Merckx in the past few months due to his incredible form that includes 10 wins and two stage race triumphs in just 18 race days.

But the Slovenian was denied the chance to go head-to-head with defending champion Evenepoel at Liège because of the crash that upended both him and Honoré.

Rarely, if ever, in the Slovenian's stellar career has a crash forced him to abandon a race. Most wrist injuries fully heal within two months, and Pogačar was not slated to race before mid-June's Tour of Slovenia.

His participation there, however, has now been thrown into doubt, but it seems unlikely that he will miss the Tour de France in July that he will aim to try and win for a third time.

Giannetti commented on Pogačar's recovery: "It's too early to say, we will have more information after the surgery. Since it's not just one bone broken but multiple, it will be a little bit more complicated, the operation. We cross our fingers it will all be OK and he will be able to recover very fast."

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Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.

Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.