Professional cycling is one of the toughest sports in the world – if not the toughest. In the last five and half months I’ve had several high-speed crashes, some serious, some not . But the one that happened at the Tour de Suisse on Wednesday was the worst of my entire career. As far as I can look back to all my crashes this year, none of them were caused by personal faults. It is more or less part of the game.
I think I was brought up to know what’s right and wrong and I’m no saint, but what happened at the Tour de Suisse has really hit me hard – physically as well as mentally.
Most of my wounds are actually healing pretty nicely though. My arm is still bad though. They put a tube in there because there were two really deep cuts in my elbow but they need to clean it out nearly every day at hospital. Because the wound needs to be kept clean, I can’t train. I only had a shower for the first time yesterday. I lost that much skin it wasn’t funny.
I saw the accident afterwards on youtube and have my own thoughts about what happened. The most important thing for me is to focus on my recovery and getting better for the Tour de France. This crash has put me back. I really needed the miles from the Tour of Suisse so to pull out after three days isn’t great. But whatever happens, I am positive and my legs will answer again in the very near future.
During the crash I hit my head on the ground, a lot of the details are really fuzzy, I cannot really recall everything. Fortunately after examinations in the hospital there were no serious issues. Crashes happen, it is part of the game and there is always a lot of talking going on, people told me Cavendish spat on me. That for me crosses the line of what’s acceptable. I think it is the responsibility of the team management of Columbia as well the UCI to act if necessary. If it is true, the image of cycling is at stake.
What really gives me strength and support was the two minutes protest of the whole bunch the day after the accident. So at least 150 other riders shared my feelings about the crash and the penalty. But, this is all “history” now. And like I said I just want to get back on the bike and show what I can do at the Tour. It’s not like I’ve got to take three weeks off. My form is still there.
The team has given me so much support that I really want to pay them back. They’ve been fantastic this year, sending me on training camps or sending me to the medical staff. I want to give something back to the team, my teammates and to myself. I want to get back to winning.