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Eddie Dunbar took an unfortunate fall, resulting in a knee injury, at the Giro d’Italia nearly six weeks ago and has only just returned to regular training

Eddie Dunbar may have been touted as a possible starter at the Tour de France this year after his early exit from the Giro d’Italia but the Irishman definitely will not be on the start line of the French Grand Tour in two weeks time.

Though it was hoped he could return quickly after his stage 2 Giro crash, that has not been the case and the Irish rider only returned to normal training on Monday, his Jayco AlUla team has told stickybottle.

He will not return to the international pro peloton until the start of next month and when he makes that return his initial races will be about getting back into full condition rather than targeting results.

It is unclear if that will impact his availability or selection prospects for the Olympics, where two men will be picked by Team Ireland for the road race.

Dunbar will, however, ride the National Road Championships in Limerick the weekend after next; his presence there a boost for the organisers and for the event itself. His appearance at the championships will be the first time he has pinned on race numbers since May 5th.

He crashed on the second stage of the Giro and suffered a nasty cut to his knee, which exposed a tendon, while he also suffered an injury to his shoulder and hand.

His team has told stickybottle he will ride the Irish championships and will then go on to compete in the Tour of Austria, a six-stage race starting in July 2nd.

However, the team has stressed when he comes back to racing it will be “with low expectations” and will be instead focused on a “reintroduction of racing intensity”.

The fact Dunbar was able to resume full training on Monday, and is now shaping up for a return to racing, is good news. However, he has missed the Giro and by the time he gets back into the pro peloton in Austria he will have been absent from international racing for just shy of two months.

That time away, due to the crash, is a blow to him, though he still has plenty of time this season to get back into condition and target races later in the year, including La Vuelta.

Whether his time on the sidelines will impact his availability or selection hopes for the Olympics is unclear. However, the Olympic road race is not until August 3rd, meaning Dunbar would have one month, from his racing return, to get himself ready, though the team will be named before then.

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