A serious crash in the Omloop het Volk earlier this season had some serious consequences for CSC's likeable Dutchman Tristan Hoffman. Tristan hit a small post and suffered an open leg fracture. He was transported to the hospital in Geraardsbergen before almost immediately being transferred to the University Hospital in Gent, where the surgeons diagnosed 'a complicated multiple open fracture on the lower leg and a fractured splint bone'. He was operated on that same evening.
If it weren't for the new technique used during the surgery in which a pin instead of plates were applied, Tristan would have been forced to rest for six weeks. But thanks to modern medicine, the healing process has been considerably faster. Tristan also suffered concussion and after recovering from that and a sore stomach (caused by the handle bars and fork which had broken off) in a darkened room in the UZ for a week, he was allowed to go home on March 4.
On the eve of his favourite classic Paris-Roubaix, in which he finished fourth twice - in 2000 and 2002- and second last year, Cyclingnews' Sabine Sunderland checked on how "Hoffie" is going.
Beautifully pregnant with their third child, who is expected to join brother Nout and sister Iris mid-June, the ever so bubbly Vera Hoffman is the first to update us on Tristan's progress.
"Tristan had his ups and downs the first days after his dismissal from the hospital," says Vera, who is a qualified nurse. "He had bad headaches and couldn't handle too much commotion around him. As long as Tristan was resting on the couch or in bed, the pain was bearable, but when he had to get up for only a brief period, his leg started swelling immediately and the pain was excruciating. But he has improved so much since. The dose of painkillers that he needed was reduced quickly and the headaches are getting less as days pass, but he still has to be cautious as the headaches return when he's working too intensively on his rehab. Although it's really nice that Tristan's joking and laughing again as before, I want him to be careful."
But knowing Tristan, there would be little reason needed for him to get up and get on with things.
Tristan laughs: "I know, I simply can't sit still for long. Looking back on how I was as a child, I think that it is highly likely that I had a mild case of ADHD (Hyperactivity Disorder). It's no surprise to me that our kids have the same energy levels, they're always flat out too.
Click here to read the rest of the interview.