By Mark Zalewski, North American editor
After crashing into the barriers on Saturday at the Bank of America Invitational, and giving the women's field a scare, Victory Brewing's Gina Grain is back home after staying in hospital in Charlotte for observation. "That has to be the worst crash ever on the bike for me," Grain told Cyclingnews. "But I guess it's bound to come at some point. The doctor said I was pretty lucky."
Grain does not remember what happened but thinks the field just moved towards the center barrier and forced her in. The race was neutralized and then stopped while medical crews attended to her. "I broke a bone in my face, cracked my skull and a major concussion," she said. "I broke the base of my thumb and got stitches in my face just above my eyebrow."
The doctors in Charlotte were concerned about the head injury and ordered a cat scan to rule out anything more serious. Even after coming up clear, the Canadian sprinter will have to take some time off to recover. "Just because of my concussion they want me to take some time off my bike. I'll have another x-ray on my thumb to see if I need surgery done and I'll be able to get a better idea of how long it will be.
More unfortunate for Grain is that she was selected to compete for the national team in the final two world cup races in Europe. "I had planned to do the last two world cups in Holland and Germany - I had just found out. To have such a bad crash now, it won't be a couple of weeks before I can train. So this really ended my season."
But Grain is still in good spirits looking ahead to the coming track season. "I have the track coming up in the fall, so it just might be time to hang the road bike up and take my break now. But Bermuda might still be possible taking August off - Bermuda is a good place to [race again], so it looks realistic. It could be a two-in-one vacation!"