I signed for Drops in August last year, I love their fighting spirit and it’s a team I’ve looked up to whilst racing as a youth and junior. So, to be part of the team is an amazing opportunity for me. My winter training was going well, I was getting the miles in and training hard as this year is my first year as a professional, I wanted to be prepared for the longer tougher UCI races.
In December I went to Calpe with some friends, to seek a bit of sunshine and to get some quality training miles in, however on the second day things took a turn for the worst. Whilst out training I slipped off the side of the road and crashed into a rock wall. My right knee took most of the impact and I instantly knew it was badly damaged in some way. I was in a lot of pain, it was swollen, and I was unable to straighten it. I thought it may have been dislocated however after a very long wait in Dénia hospital I was told that I had fractured my patella.
Two days later I had an operation to wire my kneecap together, the surgery went well, and a leg brace was fitted to keep my knee straight. I was told I would have to wear it for around eight weeks, it was hard coming to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t be able to train and the impact it would have on my 2020 race programme.
I was allowed to fly home two days later which was great news as I’d make it home just in time for Christmas. A few days later I received a visit from Bob, who provided me with some much-needed reassurance and moral support which was very welcoming.
After not being able to do a lot at home other than resting and keeping my leg straight I was extremely happy that I was able to make it to the team camp in February. Although I wasn’t able to ride with my new teammates, I was able to use the gym and the swimming pool and attend the meetings and presentations. It was so great meeting all of my lovely new teammates! This gave me such a boost and made me more determined to get back to where I was.
The camp was so exciting especially when we received all our new race kit and lots of other cool stuff from our amazing sponsors. It was great getting to know the other riders, I learnt a lot and I was really impressed by their dedication and commitment, we all got on really well.
My teammate Majo van’t Geloof is a physiotherapist, she helped me out a lot on the team camp. I could only bend my knee to just over 90 degrees but with her help I was at 110 degrees by the end of the camp. This meant I was able to bend my knee enough to ride Bob’s Brompton enabling me to join my new team mates on the short ‘rest day’ cafe ride. I literally had the biggest smile on my face all day as this was the first time I had ridden a bike in two months, you could definitely tell how much I missed it.
Since returning home from the camp I have been busy doing specific exercises as instructed by my physiotherapist. I started off on the rollers doing thirty-minute sessions on my road bike and having slowly built up, I am now able to complete two hour road rides. The team have just partnered with Zwift and I’m hoping to be able to take part in some of the races soon.
These past few months have been hard both physically and emotionally, however I am proud of what I have overcome, and I am pleased with how my recovery has gone so far. I would like to thank Bob and everybody at Drops for all the help and support they have given me during this difficult period – I can’t wait to repay them all when we are back racing!