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Laboral-Kutxa’s Naia Amondarain hopes to return to racing soon after injury

The cyclist from Ibartar, Naia Amondarain, had hoped 2023 would be a breakthrough year after joining Laboral Kutxa. However, a persistent hip injury, that began as a mere nuisance and gradually worsened, has sidelined her since February.

Amondarain had started the year with aches and pains. These lessened somewhat when she eased off her training but returned full force when she pushed herself again. The Almería Classic race in February was a particular struggle. Despite a week of reduced training before the race, she had to withdraw, marking her last competition in over four months.

The most challenging aspect wasn’t merely the early exit from the race, but the ensuing struggle to identify the problem. An MRI scan suggested a diagnosis, which kept changing initially, adding to the confusion. However, the source of the issue – a femoral-acetabular impingement in her right hip – was finally confirmed. Now, Amondarain’s focus is on rehabilitation, following the prescribed regimen and not rushing back to racing. She is patient, concentrating on her day-to-day recovery, training as instructed, and gradually improving.

The timing of her injury was unfortunate, as she had just signed with Laboral Kutxa, a team going through changes with new ambitions. She had been full of motivation and excitement for the new season, but the injury altered her trajectory. Despite the setback, Amondarain is now working to get back to competing on both the road and the track, as she has always done. She may be part of a road-focused project with Laboral Kutxa, but she is determined not to leave the track behind.

“When you start cycling or any sport, you assume in advance that injuries are part of it. What happens is that, when you have to have a bad time later, it doesn’t stop making everything very hard and difficult. I had been suffering from discomfort for quite some time. I noticed that, as soon as the piston went down a bit, it improved a lot. But later, as soon as I forced it again, the pains reappeared. That’s how I was during the preseason.

Then, when the competition came, with a view to the Clásica de Almería, I practically didn’t train during the entire previous week, but even so I couldn’t finish and I had to get off. I had an MRI and in theory, we saw what was there, but first they commented that it was one thing and then they told me another. Now we have finally reached that point where we already know where everything comes from and we just have to be patient.

I am doing rehabilitation work, complying with what I am ordered to do and without obsessing over dates to return to the peloton. It is clear that I want to return as soon as possible, but I find myself in a situation in which I prefer to focus on day-to-day work. I train what they tell me and how they tell me, and little by little I am feeling better”.

Naia Amondarain as told to Noticias de Gipuzkoa

Main photo credit: Arnaitz Rubio