Jai Hindley on stage 8 of the 2021 Giro d’Italia.
Jai Hindley will not race the upcoming Vuelta a España due to saddle sores, DSM announced on Monday.
The 25-year-old Australian, who rode to second overall at last year’s Giro d’Italia, had been slated to make his second career Vuelta start this month, but he is now set to focus on what a team press release called “shorter racing blocks that better suit his current capacity, allowing for more rest and recovery in between.” Fellow Australian Chris Hamilton will take Hindley’s spot in DSM’s Vuelta lineup.
“There have been ups and downs over the last few months and because of that we wanted to wait until closer to the Vuelta, once I’d also had a race in my legs, to make the final call. I felt good this weekend and like the form is really coming along, but after discussing with the team’s doctor, we decided that at this stage it’s sensible to focus on shorter races so we take no risks and things continue on this upward trend,” Hindley said.
“Whilst it’s of course disappointing, we are all motivated to not let the hard work we’ve put in during the last period go to waste, so we will really go for it with my new program, which is built of shorter races where we feel that I can really bring value in as the team’s finisher. I am happy the team puts my wellbeing at the first priority and with the new program we have some great goals where I’m motivated to bring home some strong results for the team.”
With the Vuelta no longer on his program, Hindley will instead race the Tour de Pologne, the Bretagne Classic, the Tour de Slovaquie, and Il Lombardia to close out the season, which is his last on his current contract with DSM. Media reports have connected Hindley to a possible move to Bora-Hansgrohe next year.
Hindley had been scheduled to start the upcoming Vuelta a Burgos, but Hamilton will replace him in the Spanish stage race before making what will be his second Vuelta start.
“We’ve worked hard together with Jai and invested a lot of time together intensively to manage his recovery carefully after the Giro. Through this we were still not completely confident that Jai would be able to manage a three-week long race so we kept his Vuelta participation open, with a very good plan B,” DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna said.
“The Vuelta is a big goal for the team, but at this stage, shorter races suit him best. We believe that Jai can pick up some good results as finisher for us with a program built of shorter blocks which suit his current capacity very well. In the background we have been preparing for this scenario and Chris has been training and working hard, so that he’s race ready for the Vuelta.”