Maximiliano Richeze: Working hard to get back!
Our Argentinian rider wrote a blog in which he explained what has he been up to after Tour de San Luis.
I'm writing you from home, in Bassano del Grappa, Italy. As many of you already know, I am busy with rehabilitation after the injury I sustained at the Tour de San Luis, the race in my native country, Argentina.
I was very happy to be able to finally race at home after so long! The first day, in the team time trial, the guys made me a fantastic gift, setting me up to pass over the finish line first and don the leader's jersey. It was magical; I was in front of my hometown audience and my family was there! It was a dream come true. This moment was followed by Fernando's victory and everything seemed to be going great, right up until the massive pile-up where we ended on the ground, on a downhill stretch during the Juana Koslay stage.
The medical diagnosis that day was woeful: Fernando and Rodrigo were forced to drop out, while Vandenbergh and I were in bad shape. The next day I took off again. I felt some pain, but I thought it was just your classic post-crash ache. The X-rays had excluded any fractures so I wasn't too worried. The day of the last stage, however, the pain was getting worse and worse. Together with the team we decided to do more in-depth exams in Italy. The results? A bone fissure on the neck of the left femur. Sounds complicated, doesn't it? Yes, it really is something that happens quite rarely. So even though I was unlucky, I was also lucky, because if it had been a fractured femur I would have had to stop for at least 3 months.
Then I started a rehabilitation program with specific therapy, but I only managed to get back on a bike last week. I couldn't stay still any longer. A rider has to pay attention to the way he feels and act in consequence. I obviously can't force things and I can't go riding for more than two hours, but I'm happy! I can finally feel the wind in my face again! For now we're going forward like this: unfortunately, I won't be able to ride Paris-Nice or Milano-San Remo, but I hope to be ready for the end of March.
In the meantime the guys aren't wasting any time! We've already racked up 13 victories and Marcel and Fernando are showing just how good they are. They are both powerful sprinters. Kittel is perhaps more of a pure sprinter and he uses the team train very well. Fernando is a guy who is used to getting by his own; he's never had a real train, so he's going to have to learn to work with his team mates. However, his instincts developed on the track help him get involved in the sprints without any difficulties. They are two different sprinters, but they are both incredibly strong, and I'm sure that they will continue to shine in the next couple of weeks!
As for me, I'm optimistic about the way things will progress and I'm going to keep on working with huge motivation in order to return in the peloton and bring my contribution to this incredible team!
Ciao everyone, and thanks for your messages of support!
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele