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Evita Muzic and Jade Wiel continue to recover from their injuries

Evita Muzic

FDJ-Nouvell Aquitaine-Futuroscope has been missing their pair of French national champions since the start of the 2022 season. Evita Muzic and Jade Wiel haven’t been available for selection at all in 2022 due to injuries sustained last year for Muzic and in the off-season for Wiel. Both will continue to be out of action for at least a few more weeks.

Evita Muzic had a horrendous looking crash at last year’s Women’s Tour on stage 6 where she launched across the road. She crossed the road just before a pedestrian refuge but didn’t have room, so crossed back and hit the kerb of the refuge. That sent her airborne, into the path of other riders and into the pavement kerb at the side of the road.

The next time we saw Evita Muzic was at the Tour de France route presentation where she crossed the stage. Still clearly hurt and not yet walking smoothly. The longest-lasting injury from that crash was her knee and that needed to be operated on around ten weeks ago. The plan for Muzic is to start the season in May or maybe the end of April at the earliest. Then she will take on the Giro Donne and the Tour de France Femmes. She has already missed her favourite race, Strade Bianche, and will miss the Ardennes where she would’ve been a strong teammate for Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig.

“I clearly have this objective in mind and it allows me to keep my spirits up and to have a course. I think it will be fine by the end of July. I still have time. I don’t worry. I don’t put pressure on myself. I feel that I am progressing day by day and I tell myself that when it comes time to resume competition, it will go quickly because the body has a memory.

It’s a shame not to have been able to wear the national jersey in all the races, especially the Strade Bianche. I will not have 10,000 opportunities in my career to do these races with the tricolour jersey. But we have to relativize. The most important thing is to be able to return to competition soon and to have a good level. For the jersey, I hope to win it back in the future”

Evita Muzic, as told to DirectVelo

It has been a similar situation for the 2019 French national champion, Jade Wiel. She had an operation in February to treat a femoroacetabular impingement on her right hip. She is expected to return to racing before Muzic with mid-April currently timetabled for her. Brabantse Pijl should be the first race we see Wiel racing in 2022. Wiel is looking forward to getting back to racing after a 2021 season that wasn’t her best.

“I still feel a little pain but that’s normal. It takes three months to be 100% physically. In any case, I feel good and I’m starting to resume specific exercises and intensities, it’s nice. I try to tell myself that this is the start of something new. From a new Jade, even. Mentally, it brings me a lot of happiness to know that we have found the problem.

When you are a top athlete and you are injured, your whole life is turned upside down. But now I feel liberated. And I have only one desire: to find my teammates as soon as possible! I will arrive at the heart of the season and it will be great. There will still be plenty of great things to do.”

Jade Wiel, as told to DirectVelo