Barloworld-Valsir’s jinx continued last weekend when their British acquisition, Tom Southam (23), crashed heavily in the bunch during the Harelbeke race in Belgium.

He was immediately flown back to the UK for an operation on his broken scaphoid bone, which means that he will be out of action for at least a month.

The 23 year old had an operation this week to pin the scaphoid bone he broke in his left wrist.

"I think I will be out of action for three or four weeks. I will be on the indoor trainer in a couple of days, and hope to be back racing again at the start of May. I’d like to come back in time for the CSC Classic in Denmark. I am pretty disappointed, really. It was a stupid crash caused by other people that I ended up getting caught up in,” commented a disappointed Southam.

"It is particularly annoying because I did the same thing to the other hand in the Coppa Sabatini at the back end of last year,” he added.

Southam’s accident was the third involving a Barloworld-Valsir rider in the last two months.

Former world champion, Igor Astaloa, has suffered a broken hand, while ace sprinter, Enrico Degano, has a broken collarbone, and now Southam joins them in a rapidly increasing peleton for cycling convalescents.

Let’s hope things go in threes, and that’s the end of it all! Otherwise the team will need to invest in 24 sets of training wheels!