US National Champion Mara Abbott was forced to pull out of this Sunday's Liberty Classic in Philadelphia due to a concussion sustained in a crash while she was training in her home town of Boulder, Colorado today.
The cause of the crash is unknown, however following the accident, Abbott found her way to the Boulder Community Hospital on bicycle with the help of friend, Torin Priem, who found her while she was stopped at the side of the road.
"I don't know how I crashed because I don't remember it, but I ended up in the hospital with a concussion and a bunch of stitches in my finger," Abbott told Cyclingnews. "An old friend from high school just happened to ride by and saw me standing over my bike at the side of the road and rode with me to the hospital."
"I looked back at my power file because I couldn't remember any of it and I actually crashed about 25 minutes before my friend found me. It looks like I got back on my bike and kept riding and then got off again, which is when my friend found me. My helmet was completely smashed in."
Doctors diagnosed Abbott's with a concussion and she had lacerations to her fingers that required several stitches. According to Abbott, they gave her an undetermined period of recovery due to the complexity of a head injury.
"I have to take it easy because head injuries are weird and you never know how you will react to activity," Abbott said. "It seems like I am recovering well but I have a small headache and some fogginess. But, it's hard to tell until you put in an effort on the bike. I will take it really slow. Head injuries are nothing to try and mess around with."
Abbott was out for warm-up spin on her bike when the crash occurred at roughly 6:00am, several hours prior to her scheduled flight to Philadelphia. She was registered to compete in the Liberty Classic with her Diadora-Pasta Zara teammates Shelly Olds, Amber Pierce, Rachel Neylan and Inga Cilvinaite.
"I am bummed not to race Liberty Classic because it is one of the most exciting races on the US calendar," Abbott said. "But, given the crash and that I got away with apparently minor injuries, given everything that happened and everything that could have happened, the race is the least lost. But, I am bummed to have to miss it."
Depending on her recovery, Abbott is next scheduled to compete at the Nature Valley Grand Prix, USA Cycling Elite National Championships and the Giro Donne.
"The main goal is still the Giro, provided everything recovers in a timely fashion," Abbott said. "I feel like I ended up fairly lucky given the situation."
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