Nick Waite (Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast) heads into surgery this week, following an injury in the final Stillwater stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix several weeks ago. Waite, who turned pro in 2002, is scheduled for surgery to treat Iliac Artery Endofibrosis in his left leg, a condition which doctors believe can exist in some athletes for years until intense performance causes the affected limb to give out.
"Essentially it looks like I've been riding with the brakes on my left leg my entire career," said Waite. "I'm looking forward to finally having this dealt with and coming back to race with the full use of my leg for the first time since I turned pro. Hopefully that's going to mean stronger, faster and both more ready and able to win."
The condition is more common among pro cyclists than any other athlete group and involves the aggravated rubbing of the iliac artery on a ligament, which runs from the pubic bone to the hip bone every time a cyclist makes a pedal stroke.
"Nick's absolutely doing the right thing at the right time," added team performance director Jonas Carney. "He's been a critical part of the team in the first half of our season when we raced a lot of stage races, but right now we're fielding criterium squads and that creates a window for him to have the surgery. We'll be excited to see him be able to race happy, health and to his full potential."
Waite's injury is the latest in a long list for the Kelly Benefit Stategies squad. It follows seasoned sprinter Dave McCook's broken wrist, Reid Mumford's broken Tibial Plateau, Mark Hinnen's tendonitis and Justin Spinelli's broken collarbone sustained 500 meters from the finish line in Philadelphia.
"We never take unnecessary chances but we do race to win every time," adds Carney. "There's no point racing if you're not really in the game. As a new team we've had a few set backs this first season but we look after our guys extremely well and they come back stronger than ever. Just look at McCook."