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Lucy Kennedy on the recovery path after Liège-Bastogne-Liège crash

140421 / Brabantse pijl WE1.1 Dames /
Lucy Kennedy (Team BikeExchange at Brabantse Pijl in 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Team BikeExchange’s Lucy Kennedy is working her way back from the crash that put her out of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and into a Belgian hospital in April, with the Australian rider on the trainer after surgery on complicated fractures of her hand and collarbone. 

The 32-year-old had been building form at the Ardennes, looking toward a block of racing in Spain where she’d found success before and would again have had her chances to go for the win. Instead, as her team wraps up the Spanish May racing block, culminating with Vuelta a Burgos Feminas, she is riding the trainer while recovering from the injuries sustained in the final race of the Ardennes Classics. 

“I had surgery on complicated fractures of my hand and clavicle, while a fracture of my eye socket is healing on its own,” said Kennedy in a post on Twitter. “I'm blown away by the kindness and support I've received. Each day I feel better and my [Tacx] trainer is getting a workout.”

The recovery process from an Ardennes Classics crash is all too familiar for Kennedy who came down hard at Amstel Gold in 2018, her first year with Mitchelton-Scott. After that crash she had concussion, a broken clavicle, fractured scapular, eye socket and jaw. She then returned to racing at the Giro Rosa and again came down and broke her collarbone.

It lead to an interrupted first year for the rider, who came to the sport late after injuries saw her turn from running to the bike, and after another interrupted year in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic Kennedy was hoping to have a clear run in 2021 where she could start embracing the opportunities presented by the evolution of the racing and her team.

The Giro Rosa, which starts July 2, was the next major target the Australian rider outlined when we spoke to her earlier this year, with Kennedy one of Team BikeExchange’s key riders when the road heads up. The team has twice won the overall at the longest stage race on the women’s calendar with Annemiek van Vlueten – who has now gone to Movistar – while Amanda Spratt has also twice come third. Before the accident Kennedy said she planned for an altitude block to get ready for the Giro Rosa and then would “hopefully” head to the Olympics afterwards. 

The Australian road team for the Tokyo Olympic Games is due to be announced on Thursday with the Australian women qualifying for a team of four – the maximum number – in the road race.

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