With his Classics plans laid to rest after an unfortunate early season tumble, one of the peloton's most aggressive and experienced hardmen tells Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes his season ain't over yet.
This spring was to be a big one for Stuart O'Grady. At 32 years of age he has a strong blend of strength, experience and results, and his move to Team CSC last autumn was expected see him move to a new level as a Classics contender. In the past he's taken podium placings in both Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders; motivation boosted by his change of team, he was all fired up for good performances in both.
However, the Australian has been forced to change those plans, his Spring campaign being foiled by a bad crash on stage two of Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this month. O'Grady broke his collarbone and five ribs when he hit a pothole and is only now returning to training with some sessions on an indoor trainer. He's worked with a chiropractor to try to get moving again as soon as possible and, motivated to bounce back from this misfortune, he's now aiming to hit peak form this summer.
"I guess one thing that comes out of this is that although I will miss the Classics, I'll be fresher and hungrier and angrier than ever when I get back on the bike," he states. "You have got to take the positives from this kind of situation.
"I was programmed to have a break after Paris-Roubaix with four weeks off. But instead of having that time off after Roubaix, I will just have an enforced break now. In hindsight, I guess another benefit is that I will have had my break so I will be raring to go, [doing] full training when I would have been resting. So hopefully come the Dauphiné and the Tour, I will be going very well."
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