No US nationals for Caldwell

Blake Caldwell (Garmin-Chipotle)

Blake Caldwell (Garmin-Chipotle) (Image credit: Jon Devich)

Garmin Slipstream rider Blake Caldwell will miss the opportunity to improve on his silver medal in last year’s US national road race championships as he is still recovering from a bad crash this spring.

On April 2nd Caldwell fell while out training in Girona, suffering a intertrochanteric fracture of the femur. Since then he’s been working on getting his recovery right, backing off after an earlier return to racing in order to avoid further complications.

"Things are coming along with my hip," he told Cyclingnews this week. "I reached a point in June where I was able to train normally and do some small local races. However, as I continued to up the training, I had some pain come back in my leg, which is still bothering me.

"It’s taking longer to heal than I expected and a lot longer than I hoped. But if it keeps healing in a positive way, that's all I can ask for. I'm up to training 3-4 hours, but without the high intensity."

Around this time last year Caldwell was racking up some good results. He was second overall plus first and second on stages of the Tour of Utah, then followed that up with that fine ride in the US national road race championships in Greenville on August 31st. He took the runner-up slot there, narrowly losing out in a two-up gallop to the line with Tyler Hamilton (Rock Racing), who has since been banned from the sport.

Returning to Greenville this year to chase gold must have been originally a target, but he believes that his priority has to be on getting his body back to where it needs to be.

"My first goals are to get back to training at an intensity consistent with racing," the 25-year-old said. "At that point, I know I'll be ready to push myself without compromising the healing. In racing, you don't think about if your body can handle it. You just do it, which can be good and bad.

"Returning to that point doesn't seem terribly far off, but since its largely beyond my control, I don't have a set comeback date. What I can focus on is the rehab…things like core and hip stabilizer strengthening, and all of the areas that get neglected in the racing season."

Caldwell has a contract with Garmin Slipstream until the end of 2010.

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