This has not been Matti Breschel's year. Or, as the Rabobank rider put it, “it has just been a crap season in all ways.” He has about given up hope of winning a medal in next month's World Championships in Copenhagen, and still doesn't know whether he will need surgery on his broken fingers.
Breschel crashed out of the Vuelta a Espana last week, suffering the two broken fingers, a deep gash on his chin and extensive road rash on his leg. The fingers aren't the only problem now, as his left leg is also giving him problems.
“Right now I cannot under any circumstances sit on a bike. My left knee and hip especially hurt,” he told sporten.dk. The leg is ripped open “from the hip down to ankle. There is probably inflammation in the wounds, so I am now on antibiotic treatment to keep it down," all of which is keeping him in bed at the moment.
Breschel hopes to be able to ride the Tour of Britain (September 11-18) as his final warm-up for his homeland worlds, for which he was to be team captain.
“It certainly looks very bleak in comparison to riding for medals. It is the biggest World Championships ever for a Dane, because it is at home, and I would never want to let that chance go by. But I have since tried to prepare myself for the worst, and I've also thought about that you really should give a chance to another when they are better prepared and riding stronger. But I'll have that discussion with national coach Lars Bonde.”
However, possible surgery on his hand, in which he also tore a tendon, may be the deciding factor. He is scheduled to meet with Rabobank doctors Thursday in the Netherlands to determine whether an operation is necessary.
National coach Bonde also saw a possible operation as decisive, but said that “I will still go very far to get Matti Breschel on the team in a role as team rider, if he is able to do so.”
Breschel, who turns 27 on Wednesday, started out the season with knee problems which kept him out of the Spring Classics, where he was to have been Rabobank team leader. After an illness in the Tour of Denmark, he then suffered his Vuelta crash.
"Well, it has just been a crap season in all ways, “ he concluded.