Frenchman Frederic Guesdon was supposed to end his career on April 8 at the end of Paris-Roubaix at the age of 40, but his exit is now in doubt after the crash he sustained with 900 metres to go into the opening stage of the Santos Tour Down Under. A broken hip was reported at the Royal Hospital of Adelaide.
He underwent a light surgery. "The doctors seemed optimistic about his quick recovery but it's difficult to envisage that he'd be on the start line of Paris-Roubaix in less than three months from now", FDJ-Big Mat's directeur sportif Yvon Madiot told Cyclingnews after visiting the rider at the hospital.
"Fred said that it wasn't a heavy fall", Madiot continued. "He believes that he has landed on somebody else's bike because that's the only way he can have broken a bone. As soon as he tried to move the left leg, he understood that it was broken. Fred wasn't emotional about the accident and the consequences. During the time I spent with him, he didn't talk about cycling at all. He never said it's game over. He was happy to be treated very well and his only concern was that he couldn't talk to his wife who was at work with no mobile phone."
The Frenchman is expected to leave the hospital on Thursday and return to France to pursue his rehabilitation whenever the insurance company will fly him back. FDJ-BigMat boss Marc Madiot remembered his own exit to his brilliant career when he also broke a hip during the 1994 Paris-Roubaix. "You can't fight against your destiny", he said. His brother Yvon added: "It would be a pity for Fred to end his career so far away from his roots."
Guesdon's contract with FDJ-BigMat terminates at the end of April. He has been rumoured to have a future as a directeur sportif in the team but Madiot is famous for being faithful to his staff and he will only get Guesdon on board once the program will mean a need for an extra DS.