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From bicycle to couch

Well, it’s been a while since the last blog. After Milan-Sanremo, I had a week “off”. Just easy riding, no more than 2h30min, without effort and just recharging the batteries before the new training camp kicked off. And just like that, the week was over and I was already packing for Teide. Of course, I packed too much. The weather was much better than the first time on the mountain and we didn’t see any snow 🙂 Shorts, short jerseys, and lots of sunscreen. Three weeks of hard training. Four, five, six, and even seven hours. Sleep, food, rest, and counting down the days until the Giro.

Before Giro, I stopped in Liege. After very successful and hard preparations, I wanted to test my form and went to Liege-Bastogne-Liege very motivated. A breakaway was quickly formed and until Bastogne we mostly had the wind in our chests, so the race was quite calm and controlled. But when we turned back towards Liege, it started. High speed, stress, and positioning before crucial climbs. Some previous editions of LBL have often ended with an early attack and a strong group of riders making it to the finish. This time I wanted to make the race hard myself. Unfortunately, I made it difficult for myself 🙂 In this attack, I thought that several teams would decide to try to isolate QuickStep and Remco. Unfortunately, everyone was waiting for his attack. We all knew where it would happen. Once I was in front there was no more braking. Just head down and full gas. I caught the breakaway group and continued my pace. Little did I know that this attack would end without a successful result. They caught me on Radutte, a few hundred meters below the summit. Nonetheless, I had to get to the finish line. I was extremely happy with the form, but yes, I could have chosen a different tactic. Despite everything, I was satisfied, because I confirmed that I am ready for the Giro. After the LBL, I had a few more days of rest, and some short training sessions to somehow recharge the best as possible after the difficult block of training camp and the race.

Then it was time to go to the Giro. Extremely excited and couldn’t wait for the Grande Partenza. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a Grande Nightmare for me. I won’t write anymore about what happened, how it looked, because to be honest, I don’t want to remember anymore and I’m trying to put this terrible day behind me.

I’m at home now. Surgery done and feeling useful 🙂 I spend most of my time lying down. I do some knee exercises, some light stretching and that’s it. I have three destinations. One is a sofa, the other one is the bed and the third is a slightly adapted seat at the table. Just in case if someone comes to say hi. Otherwise, horizontal position. I shouldn’t put any weight on my legs for at least a few more weeks. I think I’m having a good time all together, but it’s definitely not easy. Every now and then everything falls apart in my head, but I always get to the point where I know deep down that everything will be ok in the end. Now I just have to be patient and “enjoy” the days off.

The first 14 days after the surgery were crucial for me to rest completely. Because of the wound after the surgery, I had to be really careful to prevent any infections. I was useless. After 2 weeks I was given the green light to have the stitches removed. The wound has healed nicely and now the rehabilitation can really begin. The exercises, stretching,… strength exercises will have to wait a little longer because I can’t burden my leg with extra weight. Even if there is no physical training, it is undoubtedly very good mental training.

On this occasion, I would like to thank everyone once again for the encouraging words and I hope that soon I will be able to publish a new blog, where I will already write about training and preparation for new races.

Photo: Personal Archive