By Brecht Decaluwé in Hertsberge
Cyclingnews diarist Barbara Howe suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon at the World Cup race in Hofstade on December 26, and will be out of the remainder of the Belgian holiday cyclo-cross races.
One day after the incident Cyclingnews caught up with Howe as she returned from hospital, at the Cycling Center in Hertsberge. "It happened during the third lap when I was preparing to land my foot as I was jumping off the bike. Then it felt as if someone hit me from behind," Howe explained.
Howe underwent surgery the same day and stayed in the hospital for the night, Bernard Moerman from the Cycling Center explained. It appears that the tendon snapped before landing her foot, which is unusual. "I know," Howe wondered, "I've been thinking about this all day long to figure out when it triggered, but I still don't know." For now, Howe is staying in Europe as scheduled and then she will fly back next week with a plaster around her right foot.
After the accident there were problems getting her bike and helmet back. "A spectator was really nice and gave his coat to me. I told him to bring the bike and helmet to the pit." Obviously the spectator didn't find his way that easily, and for a moment the mechanics were afraid the material was lost, but both bike and helmet was found in the end.