If you have read my last post you will know that I haven’t had the most luck so far this season and you could easily be forgiven for thinking that I’m jinxed…
After my recent string of mishaps;
· A crash ended my 1st Coupe de France race and completely destroyed my frame and wheels.
· A god awful bike and a puncture ended my chances the following week.
Following a good positive week of training and receiving another replacement frame (not the new frame I was waiting for but one a lot better than the “Sponge “orbea) along with my new wheels, I was cautiously optimistic for the next race; Transversale des As.
The race route was 141km, a relatively flat 70km with some tough crosswind sections and one small berg. The second 71kms started with a 10km or so climb and then it was all up and down to the finish. Brutal!
The race started hard, fast and very, very nervous. The route covered lots of small towns and narrow roads with a lot of road furniture (roundabouts, islands etc... or “Form Fuckers” as Ed likes to call them). The speed was ferocious with no breaks being able to get away.
I struggled in the early part of the race and almost got shelled in a small section of crosswinds but managed to hold on. Not long after this my legs started to come around and I was then able to mix it at the front of the race during another stretch of tough crosswinds. I was attacking and making the front splits in the wind and I was gaining more and more confidence as this went on.
After 50km or so the race then hit another small town with a small rise in the road, some twists, turns and more furniture. I was well positioned in the top 20 of the bunch and as we were leaving the town on a false flat descent at 50+ km/h suddenly it was lights out for me. Literally!
According to CP (my team mate Chris) it was horrific! The screaming of rubber and carbon rims as the riders in front of us all locked up and were fishtailing it to avoid an un-marshalled traffic island (form fucker). The last thing I remember was thinking “where is it?” as the rider in front of me narrowly missed the island I was not to be so lucky. From what CP saw, I was sideways as my wheels hit the kerb and I was sent airborne. I collided with the sign on the island and did a little dance in the air before spreading my arms like an eagle and coming to rest face down on the hard concrete (form well and truly fucked).
I awoke to the usual crowd of bodies looking to see what state I was in. I shut them out as I tried to pull myself from the middle of the road and focussed on getting back on my bike. I turned my head and saw my bike but I couldn't move. A sudden wave of fierce pain came crashing down on me. I couldn't move my right leg and the pain was almost as bad as it was when my appendix burst. I feared I had a season (potentially career) ending femur! The rest of my body just didn't want to move. I was then strapped down onto a spinal board, stretchered into the ambulance (again) and taken to the hospital. It was here where I was able to check over my injuries (ex-Order of Malta if you didn't know);
· Right femur possibly broken
· Front tooth broken again
· Left arm swelling fast and cut but not broken
· Neck and back working as usual
· The usual road rash cuts and bumps, no major worries.
On arrival to the hospital I was left lying in the ambulance as they prepared a place for me. I lay there with my right leg in agony and my brain in overload with the “how’s, what’s, when’s and the why’s” and with that heavenly mix I had a little cry to myself. “My season is over. Nations cup races? You wish. I’m getting sent back home. Why me? ” These were just some of the thoughts going through my fragile mind.
As the hours passed painfully and all the formalities completed, I was given the results. My guesstimations were almost exact. The good news was that my leg was not broken! The bad news was that I needed surgery on one finger. I was optimistic.
I got home and into bed with the help of my housemates, who in general are good guys but I got to see just how genuine they are with all the help they have given me. I owe them big time!
I spent Sunday in bed with the plan to go to the hospital for my operation on Monday. The team were organising this for me.
I was taken in an ambulance to the hospital in Aubenas and in to the emergency department realising that this wasn’t very well organised. Trying to explain myself for coming to the ED in an ambulance for an OP that they knew nothing about was quite embarrassing but they looked after me nonetheless.
I met with the orthopaedic surgeon and the anaesthesiologist and had some more x-rays and was sent home with the op scheduled for 8am Tuesday morning.
Ed was kind enough to take me to the hospital on Tuesday morning. I went through all the procedures and then I waited. I read for a short while and then fell asleep. I was woken up by a nice transport guy who took me to the prep room. In the prep room I was hooked up to an IV and fed saline and antibiotics while the anaesthesiologist worked his magic and put my arm to sleep.
I was then taken to theatre where I was placed under a green sheet and left to watch my pulse and oxygen monitor. I played a game to pass the time, seeing how low I could get my heart rate. The nurse was taken aback when I told her that 42 was a high resting HR for me. The op was completed in about 30 minutes. I then got some more x-rays, was fed and then sent on my way. I have to get some more x-rays and a consultation next and then I will find out exactly for just how long I will be out of competition…
My leg has been improving daily; I am now limping around the house unaided and I hope to back on the turbo by next week. Fingers crossed.
I want to end by saying thank you to all the staff at the team who have been great as usual. Big thanks to Chris, ED and Kamil my housemates who have been a great help to me; from undressing me to cutting up my meals and helping me get around. I really appreciate it. Last but not least Thanks to all of you who have sent me nice “get well soon” messages. They have cheered me up immensely.
Some pics of the injuries:
Some pics of the injuries:
|Post OP (splint &sling)|
|Severe Dead Leg Scared me|