By Vernon Felton
Danny Hart, the 2011 UCI Men’s Downhill world champion, will sit out the remainder of the 2012 season (including the upcoming world championships) while he recovers from a shoulder injury.
Hart injured his shoulder in a crash that occurred while training on July 12, the day after the Air DH event at Crankworx Les Deux Alpes. Following the wreck, Hart immediately returned home to Great Britain, where he underwent surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left shoulder.
The Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider started physical therapy a few weeks ago and has already regained 70 percent range of motion. According to Giant Bicycles, Hart's recovery is proceeding as quickly as possible, but that won’t be quick enough for Hart to contend either 2012’s final World Cup race or the season-capping World Championships in Austria.
Hart won the 2011 World Championships in Champery, Switzerland with a staggering 11-second lead, and was a contender in 2012 with top-ten finishes at Fort William, Leogang, Mont Sainte-Anne, Windham and Val di Sole.
Giant expects Hart to be back in the saddle in time by the time the 2013 season rolls around.