Video Interview: Craig Lewis making encouraging progress after bad injury
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Friday, February 24, 2012

Video Interview: Craig Lewis making encouraging progress after bad injury

by Shane Stokes at 4:01 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Tour de Langkawi, Injury, Video
American rider performs well in Langkawi time trial despite recent bone graft

Craig LewisEight months after a high speed crash in the Giro d’Italia slammed him to the ground and fractured his femur and just weeks after a bone graft operation to help a sluggish healing process, American rider Craig Lewis returned to competition on Friday with an impressive showing on stage one of the Tour de Langkawi.

The Champion System competitor placed fifteenth in the 20.3 kilometre time trial in Putrajaya, beating most of the field despite his lack of training and racing miles compared to most of his competitors. He was one minute 58 seconds behind the winner Dave Zabriskie but just 41 seconds behind Tom Danielson, the Garmin Barricuda leader. He finished ahead of many big name riders, including those who have been preparing well for this race.

The result is an encouraging one in relation to his future, as it shows that he is already able to perform at a good level despite the considerable setbacks he has faced.

Lewis spoke to VeloNation one day before the race started, explaining the accident and its aftermath, talking about the battle he has faced in attempting to return to the pro ranks and naming his targets for the Malaysian race.

“I had a bone graft and some hardware exchange in December, and since then I have been feeling a lot more mobility, being able to walk a little better and put pressure on the leg,” he said in a video interview. “So things are starting to turn around for the best.”

He crashed heavily in the past, breaking over 40 bones when he hit the deck during the 2004 Tour de Georgia. However he said that the latest accident was a more difficult one for his training and racing, as the injury was done directly to his leg, and because it was so slow to regenerate.

“It didn’t heal for six months and then we started from ground zero in December,” he explained. “They went in there, they chiseled the bone, they removed some bone. What bleeds they left and what didn’t they took out. They put some cadaver bone in there and some kind of morphogenic protein to try to get it to come together.”

Fortunately his body reacted well to the process and after missing some of November and all of December, he has been able to work harder since then and feels his body responding.

Friday’s result will be further encouragement for him, and will boost his motivation to try to ride strongly on the Genting Highlands climb on stage six.

Click on the image below to watch the full interview with Lewis. He’s already faced two big setbacks in his career but has both talent and bucketloads of determination, and looks to be on track.


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