Alex Howes (Garmin-Barracuda) at the start line
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Garmin-Sharp neo pro recovering from boken collarbone
Garmin-Sharp first-year pro Alex Howes takes the team ethos to extreme lengths. The day after eight of his teammates hit the pavement in the Tour de France – with Tom Danielson, Ryder Hesjedal and Robbie Hunter eventually abandoning – the 24-year-old from Boulder, Colorado, broke his left collarbone in seven pieces while training back in the states.
“I guess I kind of fell down out of sympathy for them,” Howes joked Tuesday while recovering at home. “We’re a tight-knit team, so we win as a team and we fall as a team, I guess.” Garmin manager Jonathan Vaughters also shared the pain, reacting to the news on Twitter by writing, “when it rains, it pours.”
Howes was in the middle of a motorpacing session outside of Boulder with teammate Peter Stetina, Spidertech’s Lucas Euser, Champion System’s Craig Lewis and BMC’s Taylor Phinney, who is scheduled to represent the US at the London Olympics at the end of this month, when he went down hard after making contact with the pacer.
“I got tangled up with the scooter a little bit and ended up on the floor,” Howes said. “Taylor was behind me, so we were lucky he didn’t go down.”
A friend with a car took Howes, who was the only rider injured in the crash, to a local hospital where doctors operated within hours, using 10 screws and “a big old metal plate” to fix the shoulder.
“It seems to have gone well,” Howes said of the repair job. “It’s not too long after surgery, just three days now, and a lot of the swelling has already gone down. I’m getting more movement in the arm, starting to straighten up a little bit and back off on the pain pills, so, all things considered, it’s going pretty well.”
The bad luck comes in the middle of a season in which Howes has been making the most of his first year in the European professional peloton. Aside from earning praise from the Garmin bosses and team leaders for his yeoman’s work so far, he had his own breakout rides in the
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