Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) has revealed that he had minor surgery on his hand last week after breaking it in a training accident near his home. The 34-year-old Spaniard, who has enjoyed a consistent start to 2012 after securing third place finishes at the Tour of Qatar and at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, is already looking ahead to getting back in the saddle and to making it to the start line of his favourite race – Paris-Roubaix on April 8.
“I broke a metacarpal in my hand while out training last week,” he told Team Sky’s official website. “The fracture was smooth and I was even able to ride home after I’d done it. I went into surgery on Thursday and they re-aligned the bone before fixing it with a couple of screws.
“In the time between picking up the injury and surgery I was able to keep working on the turbo and do core work in the gym, but since then I’ve not been able to do that as we didn’t want to risk stretching the wound, or getting it infected with sweat under the bandage. My bandage is coming off on Tuesday and I’ll be able to start my rehabilitation again straight after that.”
Flecha stated that his immediate race plans are up in the air and much will rest on his rehabilitation over the coming days. But in his own mind everything is still pointing towards Paris-Roubaix, where he has enjoyed consistent success over the years despite never actually winning the race. Flecha was a runner-up there in 2007, and has two third places to his name along with several other top ten finishes. Back in January he told Cyclingnews that it is the classic that he most wants to win before he hangs up his wheels.
"If everything goes well I should be able to make my return at Waregem [March 21], but obviously that’s dependent on what the doctor says," he said.
“I want to return there but it’s obviously dependent on my recovery. If things are not going well, riding the cobbles might not be the best idea right away, so we could even look at doing a race like the Criterium International [March 24-25] instead. I don’t think I will be at my peak condition at Flanders [April 1], but I will still give it my all, and then by the time Roubaix comes around I’ll be back to my best and able to give it a really good go.”