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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Post-crash update

Hey kids. Rough night for me last night. It`s hard to sleep when you can barely move. I seem to have sustained no major damage to any joints, bones or muscles, but using my head to come to a full stop has resulted in a very stiff back and neck as well as a thoroughly mangled helmet. I have no option other than to say that without a helmet on yesterday I would most likely be in a wheelchair by now. Given the lack of any sort of injury to the rest of my body, including a complete lack of bruising and bleeding, it isapparent that my head bore the complete impact of my crash. Scary. Both Dominique Perras (Kodak Gallery/Canadian National) and Eric Wohlberg (Symmetrics Cycling) who were right behind me at the time of my crash talked to me in the evening and said that they had never seen anything like it. I`m just glad I didn`t take them down with me.

As an athlete, the most painful part of competition is not the pain that one endures in a race - you`re prepared for that. It`s the agony of watching from the sidelines that is the worst. It is always so much worse when you are on a good day and have bad things happen to you. All I want to do is ride right now, and I almost could but for my back and neck. Hopefully I will undergo a speedy recovery and be back racing soon.

Yesterday was a very difficult day for most of the peloton, with many well-placed GC riders abandoning due to crashes, punctures or poor positioning. With the wind becoming so strong at the decisive moment in the race, it was impossible to rejoin any of the groups on the road if one were caught behind and with almost 100km remaining in the stage it was for certain that one would either be forced to climb into the team car or finish outside the time cut. The high winds also created some opportunities for riders to use their team cars as shelter. Unfortunately one of our own, Jiri Pospisil, was disqualified and fined for this practice, a verdict which we all feel to be too harsh given that I witnessed riders from other teams being blatantly paced in the caravan with no other fines or DSQ`s being admistered. Furthurmore, this penalty was handed down based on second-hand information supplied to the comissaires by a police sweep car. Our manager lodged a protest this morning but to no avail.

Maybe I`ll be back for Preston this Sunday!


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