A Nagging Knee and a High Speed Crash
It's been a frustrating on/off month this month. Firstly a nagging knee injury has hampered training and racing a bit, preventing me from training fully. My form and fitness had been building nicely from the winter and then into Perfs. At Perfs I was just missing a bit of top end. However that had started to come and things were looking good. I was then due to do Eddie Soens but this was cancelled due to the weather and ice on the course so it was off to the Cold Dark North event at Capernwray for 4 of us from Cycling Sheffield . The trip up was good and all being together in the house was great fun.
We were on the back foot throughout the race which was a little frustrating since the winning move went in the first 5km. We did however work well as a team, putting in moves and covering attacks until there was a pretty small peloton left for the last few laps. I felt good aside from my knee injury that had kept me off the bike for a while but thankfully in the race I was distracted enough so that I wasn't really thinking about it and instead was concentrating on the action. I was able to attack and have an aggressive race but unfortunately I was over geared for the final sprint and couldn't get it rolling so had to settle for 9th. I was then off the bike again to try and let my knee heel for the race on the next weekend, The Peaks 2 Day.
I'd been seeing physio Matt Thompson to sort it and Matt identified the problem and with a bit of work and some exercises it cleared up in time for Peaks 2 Day. I'm still off to get the knee scanned and get a specialist to have a proper look at it to make sure there is nothing else going on but for now it seems ok.
The YBC Peaks 2 Day was an event I was really looking forward to. 2 days 3 stages and with the knee problem gone I felt really positive and confident going into the race. There aren't many stage races on the UK race calendar so it's great to have one so local.
The race is always (I say always but there's only been 2 additions so far ) on very hilly well known courses like Bole Hill where the wind is often a factor and it's very attritional racing. The race got off to a good start, I was well positioned, feeling really good and conserving energy well in the bunch as the first stage unfolded.
However after just an hour of racing, on the bend at the bottom of a fast decent, I followed a move coming into an off camber bend and lost grip, ran wide on to a grass verge doing 65kph, hit a curb and was thrown off sliding across the road.
It's the first crash I've had where, for a while, I just didn't want to get up. I just lay there taking stock of what had happened and doing a mental inventory of my body. I'd broken my front wheel from the impact with the curb stone and it must have been a pretty big impact to the back of my head as I cracked all the back of my helmet.
I'm thankful the Kali Protectives helmet did a good job. They are not really known for cycling helmets but make motorbike helmets so know a thing or two about protecting your head. They and Oxford Products have also been great regarding the crash replacement.
The medics were quickly with me and checked me over and I was eventually back on my feet but my race was over with mild concussion and whiplash not to mention the abrasions from the slide.
Post crash I've also had a back issue which I've had to get checked to see if I've damaged my pelvis. Thankfully all is ok but I must have taken a fairly big impact on my back or hip at some point in the crash. I made the trip out the next day to watch stage 3 and support the team.
In the week or so following Peaks 2 Day I've been off the bike recovering and the bike has had to go to the repairers to have the frame, forks and components scanned for any hidden damage to the carbon. So this week has been one of rest and recuperation. Getting over the headaches, the sore neck and letting the road rash heal but more importantly resting the brain.
All seems to be improving now though and I'm back on the bike spinning and if I can get the bike sorted I should hopefully be on the start line at the Timmy James Memorial race in a couple of weeks.
Timmy James Memorial Race - 9th April
East Midlands U23 National Series Round 1 - 16th April
CiCLE Classic - 23rd April
Up The Watts!