Archive for April, 2010
I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve left a medical facility in the last 18 months without any idea of what I’m going to do next, and just headed for the nearest pub……
Yesterday I had a follow up appointment with the surgeon to see whether I was going to have surgery to stabilise the fracture in my left wrist. After discussion with other surgeons he had decided it was too complicated to operate and so I walked out of the clinic with a cast on my arm again. What will follow is 1 month in a cast and sling while trying to mobilise my elbow (which is also fractured but not as bad), then hopefully the cast will be downgraded to a splint. I understand this is not the end of the world, but am struggling with yet another set back, so Sarah and I are heading away for a few days to try and process it all.
On Sunday even though I hadn’t planned to ride Roubaix this year I was really g’d up for the race, eager to complete my job of protecting Fred Guesdon an completing the 260km of madness. It started sweet enough, everything was going well, the fans were out, the sun was shining and the atmosphere was buzzing! I met Roly on the startline and we were both amped to be there.
My role changed early in the race as my team missed the 19-man break away, so I was forced to ride the front in a block head wind for 50km. Having already used up a lot of juice in my legs when the fight started for the first section of pave I found myself at the back of the peloton, though I didn’t stress and took it easy to the first feed station. I spent the next few sections of pave recovering and dodging crashes. Then just before the Arenberg I started moving up the peloton to support Fred, as this is always the first decisive part of the race. Here my day turned upside literally, as I was caught up in a 6-10 man pile up. As luck would have it it was on a flat, smooth stretch of road but a piece of road furniture had caused a ruckus.
I felt I landed pretty lightly and my bike was sweet, so I remounted remembering Kevin Tobatta telling me when I was a junior, “whenever you crash, get back on and give it 5″, so I did just that. Except while attempting to pass Le tranche d’Arenberg I could only manage to hold the handlebars with one hand. I found a lift with an Euskatel Team Support car where I was later joined by Stuart O”Grady who was enjoying watching his team mate Fabian Cancellara’s amazing victory as I tried to ignore my gigantic elbow and wrist which were both increasing in size by the minute.
So I’m off, I’ll talk to you next week when I’m in a better mood.
Yours, a once again broken Guddy
It puts a shiver down your spine, goose bumps up your arms, it is Paris Roubaix.
Threre’s nothing else quite like it, it’s war on bikes to be honest. Once you take that start line in Compiegne you must be ready for battle.
27 sectors of bone breaking pave totaling 52km. Only the strongest make it to the velodrome in Roubaix.
Today has passed so quick I have just got a moment to write on here at 10.30pm, so really I should get to bed. But to be honest, I’m actually excited about tomorrow, which is quite different to what I’ve felt the last two times I started here.
My job tomorrow is to protect our leader Fred Guesdon for as long as I possibly can. So I will do that with all my power, but with whatever’s left I will be dragging myself to that velodrome.
Sorry it’s only brief but I will be back with a full report when I’ve recovered from tomorrow’s efforts.
Hope you’ll all be watching.
As we awoke to a fairly standard grey foggy day in Belgium where the temperature was no more than about 4 degrees, it brings back all the feelings and emotions of Belgian racing.
I felt a lot better going into the race than last week at Route d’Adelie where I was still recovering from my efforts in Spain. Monday I had a great 6h ride in the mountains behind Monaco, just really enjoying riding my bike. With at least 5-6 cols, there’s no need for efforts as the roads and the time in the saddle does it for you.
So after a couple days easy riding to freshen up the body I felt ready to attack the race, and have a real good blow before Sunday.
190km with 3 finishing circuits of 15km it was going to be a tough race even though the field was not such a high quality. As so often happens with a lot of smaller teams in the race, the attacks started and never stopped. There was basically no real breakaway just attack after attack. We hit the finishing circuit which included a 200m cobbled wall and a couple other little pinches and the peloton started to diminish quickly. Attacks kept going but in the end we lined up for a bunch sprint, I did my best get our boys into position but in the end it was a Slovenian rider who took the sprint. We managed fourth with Anthony Geslin, but really it we should have won after a strong showing during the race.
Next up Paris Roubaix reconnaissance…
Well the world of cycling will continue it’s on-going battle against the few who still choose to push the boundaries with illegal products and methods, we here at FDJ are trying something a little different to recover quicker from races and especially after crashes.
Cryotherapy. A technique invented in Japan but then taken to the world by a couple of Polish scientists. Basically involves getting into a freezing cold chamber at -120 degrees with barely anything on, and trying to stimulate your blood cells and other endorphins.
I tried this last week between races, I wasn’t as effected by the cold as I had expected. Though you do feel very liberated. It also helps people suffering from insomnia and in the repair of injured muscles and scar tissue.
I will post some photos as soon as possible.
For now I must get on my flight to Belgium, tomorrow Pino Cerami, and Sunday Paris Roubaix…