The dream shattered. There’s no more accurate way to describe the sad tale of the young Israeli rider from Israel – Premier Tech whose Giro d’Italia journey ended yesterday after he broke his hand in a crash during the race.

Unfortunately, the team also lost its two Canadian riders, Mike Woods and Riley Pickrell. Woods, who fell in the same crash as Raisberg, suffered a concussion and was forced to withdraw from the season’s first Grand Tour. Although he felt well enough to start Thursday’s stage, some slight confusion in Pickrell was identified and the team was not willing to take the risk given the possibility of concussion for him as well.

Raisberg, 23, made his debut at the Italian race in excellent form, dreaming big and aspiring to finish the long race to Rome with a performance to remember.

However, yesterday, in the final part of the fifth stage from Genoa to Lucca in western Italy, his dream was painfully crushed.

“It’s hard to find the right words now to express how broken and disappointed I am,” says Raisberg. “If I really try, I know tears will follow, so I’m clinging to the thought that I’ll come out of this stronger and will return this year to do another Grand Tour, maybe the Vuelta.

“I’m on my way home now, and I can’t believe this has happened to me. I was prepared for the best Giro possible, I was in excellent shape in the early days, and everything seemed so optimistic and promising, then this happened. We were gearing up for the climb when one rider caused a chain-reaction crash.

“My teammate, Mike Woods, fell, and I, who was riding right behind him, crashed over him and was thrown up. When I landed on my hands, I immediately knew something was broken, but I got back on the bike and prayed I was wrong. Even after the X-rays confirmed I indeed broke my hand, I still hoped the doctor would let me continue.

“But there was no chance. They’re talking about not being able to ride for at least a month. It’s very hard to digest, but I know I’ll overcome. In two days, the smile will return to my face.”

His teammates and the professional staff did everything to console him. The team’s sports director, René Andrle, adds: “This is a tough moment for Nadav and for all of us. He was excellent here, improving day by day, and we had every reason to believe he was going to have a great Giro.

“But then came this unfortunate crash. I’m heartbroken for him. He took it very hard, and I understand him, but we told him, ‘You’re young, and you will still do great things, even this season.'”

As it turned out this morning, the crash exacted another heavy toll when Mike Woods was diagnosed with a concussion and forced to abandon the Giro.

Raisberg adds: “It pains me that I won’t be able to help my friends in the race, and it hurts that Mike and riley can’t continue either. But I’m convinced that even without us, the team will still achieve great things in this Giro. I’ll cheer them on with all my heart.”