Orica-GreenEdge's Sam Bewley crashed out of Paris-Roubaix and suffered several injuries as a result . The 26-year-old, who started his season at Le Tour de Langkawi building his form for the Queen of the Classics and his first Monument, had his race ended by a team car getting a little too close for comfort.
"I had just had a flat tire, and I was making my way back through the cars as we approached the Arenberg Forest. The team cars had all come to a bit of halt on the right, so I moved up on the left hand side of the road," Bewley explained on his team website.
"As I passed on the left, one of the team cars must not have seen me. They pulled out of the line of stopped cars without any warning.
"It was a pretty narrow road, and I had nowhere to go. Luckily, I managed to swerve out of the car’s way and jump up on the curb. I thought I was going to make it through but the other side of the curb dropped away into a car-park so that's when it all went pear shaped."
Bewley made his way into the race ambulance but rather than being driven to a near-by hospital, he ended up at the finish as he explained.
"I figured we had missed the boat on any urgency to get to hospital so when we got to the finish I told the ambulance staff I was going to the bus for five minutes. I wanted to see my teammates, and I wanted to find out how they had gone in the race. The ambulance then took me to hospital," Bewley said.
Having hit the ground hard, Bewley had multiple reminders of the crash over his body, suffering grazes and fractures including a bizzare ailment and his second fracture of 2014.
"I suffered a mean looking black eye and some grazes. My ear needed a couple of stitches in the upper lobe. The major injury is two displaced fractures in my hand on two different bones.
"I had an operation last Tuesday during which they pinned one of the bones and plated and pinned the more serious one. I see the surgeon again on Tuesday, so I'll get more details then."
A roller-coaster of emotions was next for Bewley who, now over the anger and disappointment of the crash, is motivated for Bayern Rundfahrt. The race he made his GreenEdge debut with in 2012.
"As of now, the goal is to return to racing at Bayern Rundfahrt at end of May. I will take it day-by-day with getting back on the road, training until I feel ready. As soon as I know that my body is ready for it, I will be on the road. I am looking to go and do a couple weeks at altitude once I am up and running again before Bayern.
Bewley was involved in a crash at a local club race in New Zealand earlier this year fracturing his elbow and is hoping to end his recent spate of injuries but accepted that crashes are part of the job.
"It's not always easy, but like I said, if you allow yourself to feel those initial emotions and make them known rather than trying to push them away, it really helps. If you get that stuff out of the way the first few days, then you're ready to go.
"At the end of the day, as much as this sucks, it does happen in our sport. I am a professional, and I have to handle this situation as such. It's all about getting back to work as soon as possible, doing my rehab right, looking after myself and working my butt off to get back to where I need to be."
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