Less than seven months ago, Andy Jacques-Maynes (Cal Giant Strawberries) suffered life-threatening injuries in severe crash during a race in late May in California. Less than two weeks ago, he won the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championship in the Masters 30-34 category in Kansas City.
"My brother had a horrific crash on Memorial Day in the last corner of a crit, he went into the curb and straight into a pole," said Ben on his blog, www.benjacquesmaynes.missingsaddle.com, soon after the accident. Andy spent a week in the ICU "with multiple fractures and a collapsed lung."
Among his 15 broken bones were ten involving his spine, including one of which is usually linked with paralysis below the waist. He also suffered one bruised lung, one punctured lung, a torn hand ligament, and a concussion according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel. ""I was in a bad way for a while," said Jacques-Maynes.
Well before the accident, Jacques-Maynes had set cyclo-cross nationals as a goal. Such an accident might have derailed any one less determined."The hardest part was deciding that's what you're going to do when you're lying in the hospital bed bleeding and all you want to do is go back to sleep," said Jacques-Maynes, who credited positive thinking and working toward a specific goal with his successful and relatively speedy recovery.
Following his crash, Jacques-Maynes resigned from his role as road bike product manager for Specialized to focus fully on his recovery and was supported in large part throughout by fellow racer Josie Beggs, who became his wife this summer following the accident.
His road to recovery was not smooth. Just after winning his first cyclo-cross race back following his accident, a fall while running the course resulted in a broken collarbone. According to the Sentinel, a steel plate and seven screws led to still more recovering to be done. Fortunately, this time around, his injuries were less severe, and he was back in action in time for the National Championships.
"After six months of work (and workouts!), I achieved my season's goal to win the 30-34 cyclo-cross National Championship! It was so intense, and such a gnarly race," said Andy Jacques-Maynes on his website, www.getwellandy.blogspot.com.
One day after his national title win, Jacques-Maynes also finished an impressive sixth in the elite men's race. Looking ahead, he is determined to make it to the top of the pro ranks and is hoping to take the next step by racing with a still to be determined pro team in the Tour of California.