Michael Creed (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth) season has come to a premature end after the American crashed out of Schaal Sels with a broken left collar bone. Despite the setback Creed is already in discussions to renew his one-year deal with Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth.
"I just ran out of road and some came together in front of me," Creed told Cyclingnews.
"That's just bike racing. I had attacked with another guy at the start and we had 1:30 and I had spent the first 40 or 50km off the front of the race. It's crazy because one minute you're riding along and then the next minute you're lying in an ambulance."
Creed will bypass surgery and allow the bone to heal naturally and plans to remain in Europe with the team until they finish their planned schedule of European races, but the most important step in his career is around the corner with a decision on whether to continue racing needed within the coming weeks.
After three poor years in which he failed to settle with Rock Racing and Team Type 1, Creed looked at home with Kelly, fitting in with their mainly domestic schedule and linking up with a number of friends on the roster. Most importantly, sustained respite from back and hip injuries meant he was able to fulfil a solid racing programme for the first time in years.
"It was pretty mediocre, results wise. For the last three years because of what's happened with teams I've just not had that much racing. I've done as much racing this year as I have in the last three years combined. I got a little flat towards the end but in the last few races things began to pick up. People always say it but I was feeling pretty good before I crashed. I was already off the front," he said.
"Just being able to hang out with such good guys really helped me this year. I've never been on a team where I enjoy every single guy. Normally there's divisions within the team or cliques or a group of guys you definitely don't want to room with, but with this team as a whole as soon as the race is over we're all ready to relax and have a good time."
With the team keen to keep Creed for a further season the 30-year-old appears close to signing, however he told Cyclingnews that finite details over the team's expectations of him need to ironed out first.
"They've made it clear that they want me back it's just deciding on whether I want to continue for another year. There were moments this year when I wanted to hang my wheels up and then there were moments this year when I couldn't imagine doing anything else. It's just something me and the team management need to talk about. I want to race again and in the right conditions. They've given me those this year but I want to further refine my role in the team.
"The problems with my hips and back mean my form is always inconsistent so I don't want to lead the team on in terms of what I can do in terms of results. When I'm good and healthy I think I can be amongst the best and want to make sure I'm not letting down the team in any fashion before signing on. They're really good friends and I feel comfortable talking to them about this."