Daniel Fleeman (Cervélo TestTeam) will return to competition at this Sunday’s British national championships. The young Englishman has made a faster than expected recovery since breaking his left wrist in a collision with a police motorbike at the Bayern Rundfahrt, last month in Germany.
"I’m pretty pleased because they told me that it could take up to eight weeks. Its been three weeks now and I’ve more or less got full movement in it," Fleeman told Cyclingnews. "I’m riding my bike and it aches a little bit from time to time but that’s pretty normal."
Fleeman attributes his rapid recovery to a decision to have the broken bone pinned by a specialist surgeon in Switzerland, in early June. Just three weeks after the operation Fleeman has already been training on the road for the past fortnight, although his recovery was initially hampered by an apparent side effect of the operation to his wrist.
“The finishing circuit doesn’t look so hard on paper...it’s one of those things that gets to you after three or four laps: it starts to grip." - Fleeman on the finishing circuits at this year's British championships
"I was completely off my bike for eight days. I thought I’d be allright to train on the home trainer. After five or ten minutes all my muscles would just go rock solid and I had to get off because I was in agony," said Fleeman. "I think it was a bit of the anesthetic and also because I was just sitting around in the hospital for four days and my muscles just seized up, so I [had] about a week of riding just 15-20 minutes a day, just building up steadily to try and loosen up."
Turning his attention to this weekend’s British national championship in Wales, Fleeman isn’t expecting to be in contention for the win, rather he will hope to assist his Cervélo teammates Daniel Lloyd, Jeremy Hunt and Roger Hammond throughout the 160km race.
"It’ll be interesting. I think I’ll be a little bit nervous. It would have been nice to have another race before to get used to riding in the bunch again," he said. "I’m training okay but when it comes to racing, I haven’t got a clue how I’m going to be going. There are four of us, we’ve got a strong team and I think it makes more sense for me to help the team."
Fleeman was initially surprised to see the reduced distance of this year’s championship; he acknowledges, however, that it may mean he can play a more active role in the race. “I was a bit disappointed when I saw the distance to be perfectly honest, I don’t think 160km is long enough for national championships. When I first saw it was 160km I was cursing because generally I prefer a longer race but with my current condition it might be better.”
The 26-year-old raced on the same course when the British championships were previously held there in 2007 and indicated that the finishing circuits in the town of Abergavanny could prove to be decisive in the final result. "The finishing circuit doesn’t look so hard on paper but I remember it from last time and I think we did it six times and it’s one of those things that gets to you after three or four laps: it starts to grip. I think we’ve got ten [laps] this time, [it] is certainly going to catch a few people out."
"I think it’ll be a good race, there’s a lot of riders, so that’ll certainly have an effect. [The nationals] are always good and this is the first time I’ve ridden with a full team. Last year there was just me and Dan [Lloyd], it’ll be good to be part of such a strong team."