Scott Nydam of the BMC Racing team crashed heavily in stage 4 of the Tour of California and broke his collarbone. Nydam had to abandon the race, but is determined not to let this setback adversely impact his season.
Directeur Sportif John Lelangue called it the scariest crash he had ever seen, in a manoeuvre that Nydam had done hundreds of times in races. "I was routinely going back to the car to drop off the jackets. I had to pass a jacket from my left hand to my right, and in the process, the sleeve or something grabbed my brake lever making my bars do a 180°," Nydam said.
He does not remember much from the actual crash. "I remember having a split second of panic that I was going down, but then the next thing I knew I was waking up in the ambulance." Nydam found it ironic that he made it through all the rainy days without a problem, but crashed on the first sunny stage.
He received a clean bill of health, after his concussion has healed well. But he re-injured his collarbone, which he broke in the Tour of Utah last year. "The old titanium plate will have to be replaced with a new one." Nydam may get his surgery again with Eric Heiden, who performed the operation last time.
The sooner the surgery takes place the sooner Nydam will be back on the bike, and he hopes to resume training next week. "My racing schedule picks up again at the end of March for Redlands and then hopefully European racing in April. I want to be fit enough to be on the Tour of Romandie team."
Nydam was very happy with the support of the team in bad times. "When I woke up in the ambulance and heard John talking, I realised that he left the race to come be with me and make sure I was okay." At the hospital team doctor Scott Major and PR Officer Georges Lüchinger were also waiting for Nydam. Support continued even after he left the emergency room. "John was with me the whole time and that is so comforting for a rider to know that not only are people worried and looking out for you, but that they are able to handle these sorts of situations."
The team arranged for a hotel for Nydam and that his fiancée Jennifer could join him. "The true test of a team comes when something like this happens, and I feel very fortunate."