Chris Hamilton was sixth overall and won the white jersey as best young rider at the Santos Tour Down Under last year. Picture: Daniel Kalisz (Getty).
Chris Hamilton was sixth overall and won the white jersey as best young rider at the Santos Tour Down Under last year. Picture: Daniel Kalisz (Getty).

Ouch! Hamilton out of TDU with ruptured testicle

One of Australia's brightest young cycling prospects, Chris Hamilton, will miss this month's Santos Tour Down Under after rupturing a testicle on a leisurely ride a fortnight ago.

Hamiton and his girlfriend Ivon - a professional golfer - were riding their mountain bikes when they bumped handlebars and the Team Sunweb star went into a fence and hit his groin on the headstem of his bike.

"It was instant pain," said Hamilton, who won the TDU's white jersey as the best young rider last year.

"I think every bloke knows the pain of being hit in the spuds, but this never went away.

"I thought I was OK, but I went to emergency as soon as I got home and they operated that night."

Hamilton required surgery and said the pain lingered for a week, but he has been on the mend ever since.

It is the worst accident he's had on a bike since being hit by a car in 2016.

Hamilton climbed with the best in the peloton to get up Old Willunga Hill in sixth place last year. Picture: Tim de Waele (Getty).
Hamilton climbed with the best in the peloton to get up Old Willunga Hill in sixth place last year. Picture: Tim de Waele (Getty).

"When I look back at it now I suppose it is a bit scary, but at the time it didn't seem real, in hospital I said 'just do what you have to do'.

"I'm feeling pretty good actually, the first week was pretty bad but everything has been on the improve and I'm almost back to normal.

"The doctor said no riding, but maybe I've snuck out for a couple of rides."

The 24-year-old was in line to race the national championships last weekend, the TDU, Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Herald Sun Tour all this month, but that has been cancelled.

"At the time of the surgery no one knew what my recovery was going to be like, but the team decided it was best to eliminate all pressure and said 'don't do anything silly, just start back over in Europe'," he said.

"Nothing is set in concrete but I'll start racing when I'm back.

"There's not really any rehab you can do, it's just rest.

"Obviously the Aussie summer was a big goal so we will re-evaluate now."

Hamilton is being replaced by fellow Aussie young gun Michael Storer for the TDU, which begins on Sunday.

The Bendigo cyclist turned professional with Team Sunweb in 2017 and last year finished sixth overall at the TDU, top 10 in the young rider classification at the Giro d'Italia and eighth at the Tour of Poland.

He is still aiming to ride a Grand Tour this year, but isn't sure which one yet.

"We have one of the youngest teams in the WorldTour so there will be opportunities for sure," he said.

 

reece.homfray@news.com.au