Injured GreenEdge recruit Mitch Docker has revealed the extent of his injuries suffered in a training camp crash in late January, which put an abrupt end to his major goal of the 2012 season – a tilt at the classics.
"I had lofty goals for this part of my season, and it took me a little while to get over the idea of missing these races," Docker explained in a blog posted on the GreenEdge website. "I had been really looking forward to doing them with GreenEdge. Enough time has passed now, and I've accepted this."
On January 19, Docker was with several teammates at Falls Creek, Victoria and while descending with an oncoming car approaching on the correct side of the road, the 25-year-old altered his line to move away from the vehicle.
"In doing that, I hit a rough patch and lost it – going over the handlebars," Docker said. Given my injuries, it's fairly clear that I landed straight on my wrist and then on my face."
Docker was then airlifted to hospital in Melbourne with a fractured cheekbone and wrist, along with "a pretty serious concussion." His wrist required a screw to stabilise the joint however the ongoing issue for Docker is the head injury and he's been told to rest for six weeks.
"This means training is out," he explained. "It also means other changes to my daily life. I've been told to avoid television and computer time as much as possible. It's important that I'm in a stress-free environment. I need to pay special attention to sleep. There's no direct treatment required. I just need to let the body recovery [sic] on its own – and I can't push it. I'll do damage if I try to come back into things too quickly."
The 2011 season saw Docker finish an impressive sixth at Gent Wevelgem and 15th at Paris-Roubaix and with that in mind, had been planning to begin his race program in Qatar and Oman before preparing for the classics with either Paris-Nice or Tirreno Adriatico. Instead, Docker is poised to return to racing in mid-May at the Tour of Norway.
"I'm definitely hoping that an early season crash will lend itself to a stronger second half of the season," Docker said. "I've looked back at other guys who have crashed early on in the year and looked at how their seasons have gone. It's motivated me to see how they have come back. I'm looking forward to starting the Vuelta really fresh."