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Finn Fisher-Black (UAE Team Emirates) is in line to return to racing at the 2023 Tour Down Under, his team has told VeloNews.
The 20-year-old New Zealander has not raced since breaking his femur in a crash on the final stage of the Boucles de la Mayenne – Crédit Mutuel in May. Until that point, Fisher-Black had been a huge success in UAE Team Emirates colors with a string of top performances that had thrown him into contention for a Tour de France debut.
Since his crash, the rider has had successful surgery and returned to training. His complete schedule for 2023 has yet to be announced, but team boss Mauro Gianetti has told VeloNews that the young rider has been penciled in for a slot at the Tour Down Under in January. The WorldTour race has not been on the calendar since 2020 due to the pandemic but will take place at the start of next season, giving Fisher-Black another few months to build his form.
“Finn is an incredible rider. He’s one of the young guys that we really trust and he just had a crash in a moment when he was in really good form,” Gianetti told VeloNews in a call on Monday evening.
“He could have been one of our Tour de France riders this year. Now he’s back and we can say that his recovery has reached 100 percent and a few weeks ago he started to prepare for next season.”
Fisher-Black joined the team in 2021 after a stint on the Jumbo-Visma development squad. The all-rounder is seen as one of the most promising U23 talents in the WorldTour, and Gianetti is confident that the rider can rebuild his career in the coming months and years.
“Most probably, he will start racing at the Tour Down Under. He will hopefully have a good winter and he’s very motivated. He’s so talented as a bike rider and we trust him a lot. He has good qualities for the time trial, and he can climb, so in the future, he’s one of the riders that we think can be very successful,” Gianetti said.