Tour de Rijk-Limping away with Belief

20May09

A big race with big riders. The wind was blowing and it was going to be a typical race in The Netherlands. I was expecting that with the number of good sprinters in attendance that I could find my way into a break and have a good day off the front. I knew from my race on Wednesday that my legs were good so I wasn’t afraid of the wind; in fact I was looking forward to it.

Over the first hour and a half I attacked numerous times sometimes alone, sometimes in small groups of 3 or four riders and sometimes in dangerous moves of 10 or more riders. I felt no pain and putting it in my 11 felt easy. It is a great feeling when you can go over 60km/hr at will and when the bunch is strung out in single file you can go off the front. Nothing was given any breathing space. Everything was bought back and we did the first 50km in just under 1hr. Finally a group of four riders rode off the front and the bunch sat up and started rolling along.

All day I was in top notch mentally and physically. Always in the right place and always smart. As the kilometres ticked by the sensation in my legs got better and better and my belief grew.

With 45km to go the shit started to hit the fan as the bunch lined out down a straight rode that was punctuated every few hundred meters with a round about that put the hurt on everyone a little bit more. I was in the top 20 riders still feeling very little pain. I was following Gert Omloop and Danilo Hondo’s wheels. We made a left turn and the bunch was sprinting flat out of the corner with 30km left to race. The wind was coming from the right and the single file switched from the right hand gutter to the middle of the road. This happened very quickly. I was following Omloop’s wheel when his team mate in front of him hit a one of the small bricks (Form F*%!ers) that was dividing the road, he held it up, Omloop missed it, I hit it.

My bike bucked and I had a moment where I thought I was going to hold it up when it high sided me. I think that I landed on my left foot, which broke it straight away before I slid another 20m to the grass verge where I was left with half of me under the guardrail. Luckily I wasn’t operated on but I was left with a broken ankle and a broken leg.

From here I am in limbo for a little while anyway. On Friday I go to a specialist and then I will know more about recovery time and can make decisions on where to go from there. Looking on the bright side of everything that has happened I can limb away from Sunday with the knowledge that I was mixing it with best. All day I was good and I had the feeling in my legs that for sure I was going to finish top 10. Despite the set back I have belief.

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One Response to “Tour de Rijk-Limping away with Belief”

  1. 1 Oldie Benz

    May 20, 2009

    Nick,

    Here in Gig harbor, WA we have been following you, Tommy and your teams progress riding the “cobbies” in Belgium! What a shame to fnd out you went down and amaged your ankle! At least you missed Tommy this time!

    I read you were a rower “down under’! Check out http://www.rozsavage.com, British women who rowed across the Atlantic then USA to Hawaii.

    You are always welcome to visit us in Gig Harbor, Washington USA. We are Keally’s Dad (Oldie Dave) and Mum!

    Wishing you a speedy and healthy recovery!

    Emu’s & Kangaroo’s cannot walk backward”!

    Dave & Jean Benz
    Gig Harbor, WA


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