Belgian Ben Hermans (Israel Start up Nation) got back to being able to train outdoors two weeks ago but is expecting to have another shoulder surgery before his rehabilitation from a serious crash in the Tour Down Under in January left him with a complex shoulder fracture, broken collarbone and fractured ribs.
The Tour of Utah winner posted an image of himself riding outside on Instagram, saying, "trying to build up some form again and get comfortable with the shoulder. Not that easy and just as difficult as we expected it should be. Soon I will have another surgery at the shoulder to finish it off and I will be free to start the final phase of rehab."
Hermans was caught up in a stage 2 pile-up in Tour Down Under with Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Elia Viviani (Cofidis) and Rafael Valls (Bahrain-McLaren) and spent eight weeks rehabilitating before being cleared to ride outside.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, he said when getting back on the bike earlier this month, "There is no stress for a fast comeback as nobody knows when normal life and racing can continue."
In Belgium, people are still allowed to ride outside but are asked to limit their movement between communities to slow the virus' spread. Hermans said he was just doing "some exercise every day to keep the spirit".
The 33-year-old said after Paris-Nice that he found it "quite hard to see other riders racing now and get rewarded for the efforts they did in November, December and January."
But since then most races through the Giro d'Italia have been postponed or cancelled because of the pandemic, while the Tour de France will make a decision mid-April on whether the 2020 race will go forward 'behind closed doors'.
Nothing better than riding a bike in these times. Just some exercise every day to keep the spirit. In my case: I am trying to build up some form again and get comfortable with the shoulder. Not that easy and just as difficult as we expected it should be. Soon I will have another surgery at the shoulder to finish it off and I will be free to start the final phase of rehab. 🙏🏻 Thanks to all doctors, physio therapists and coaches to help me trough this. @israelcyclingacademy @factorbikes Ben Hermans
A photo posted by @hermansben on Mar 28, 2020 at 7:50am PDT