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Healing and looking ahead

In the week between Eneco and Vattenfall, I trained less than I normally would. My legs would have liked to do more, but I underestimated the toll that the crash had taken on my body and how much I needed to let it recover. Midweek, my left side had a yellowish tint from all the bruising.

As the wounds slowly healed, I was finally able to hold the handlebars fairly normally on the cobbled streets of Girona, which was reassuring going into Vattenfall on Sunday.

The race for me was uneventful for nearly 5 hours. My legs didn’t feel very good because of the lack of activity in the preceding days, but we were coming to the crucial point in the race and I was ready to help Marcel get into position for the climb. Then I joined 40 of my colleagues in an impromptu meeting on the pavement, as the combination of traffic furniture and narrow fencing caused problems.

I went into the pile on my left side, coming to a stop completely entangled in bikes and bodies. I couldn’t extricate myself, as my leg was fully extended and a brake lever was wedged into my shoe, keeping me from pulling my leg back–crashes do weird things! So as I waited for the pile to thin, I looked at the blood dripping from my elbow–the same one I tore up in Eneco. Thankfully I hadn’t actually hit the ground, and whatever hit my elbow didn’t touch the wound directly. A week’s worth of healing was undone, though, by the pressure applied when peeling my bandage off. And again, the impact had made my shoulder very sore. I called it a day and rode back to the bus, hitting the reset button on my healing.

I celebrated my 27th birthday a couple of days ago, but kept things pretty low-key. I got to play a very nice piano at the local jazz club, recording a few songs on video, which will be released in the coming weeks after a bit of editing….

I was glad to have been recovered enough to play at all, though! My elbow and shoulder were still a bit sore, but I powered through 3 hours of practicing just to sharpen up enough to be record-able. The next morning I was quite sore again, but it was worth it. I’m curious to see if my hands are visibly shaking in the video, as the adrenaline hit I got from performing on such a loud piano was surprising.

I’m finally able to hold the bars with full strength over bumps, with my elbow only the slightest bit uncomfortable, although it’s still sensitive to direct bumps. My shoulder is also sore, but slowly improving. I’ve pushed hard in this week’s training, and I’m feeling confident going into my next races.

Tomorrow, I’m leaving for Canada. The Tour of Alberta will be my first non-WorldTour race since Criterium International in March, so it’s going to feel weird: bigger, straighter roads, a smaller bunch, and fewer heavy hitters…I’m really hoping that I can do something there. The weather may be a shock, though, as 85 degrees feels comfortable now, and it snowed in Alberta this week.

After the Canadian races, I get to spend a week in Richmond leading up to the TTT World Championships. I just looked up our hotel, and it’s next to  a Chipotle. I can’t wait!