Swiss TT championship runner-up Thomas Frei confirms he’s looking for offers
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Saturday, October 06, 2012

Swiss TT championship runner-up Thomas Frei confirms he’s looking for offers

by Shane Stokes at 9:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Injury
 
Cristina Watches Onfone rider making steady progress in recovery from hip injury

Thomas FreiAmid reports of a clearout of some riders and staff from the Christina Watches Onfone squad, Thomas Frei has confirmed that he is looking for another team for 2013.

“At the moment its really open and nothing is fixed yet,” he told VeloNation. “It’s not yet sure that I would not ride for them next year. But it’s true I didn’t sign a contract so far with them…for sure I’m looking around.

Frei joined the team in May, returning to the sport after a two year ban for EPO use. “I am happy to come back racing. I am looking forward to it,” the Swiss rider said at the time. “The contract is until the end of the year, then I see what I will do next.”

Team manager Claus Hembo said then that he felt the rider deserved a second chance.

“Our policy is well known. Without being over-religious, we have some Christian basic values that we think our society, at least in Denmark, can build on,” he said. “It means that if you are sorry about what you did, and if you publically say no to doping, we are willing to give you that second chance.”

The 27 year old finished second behind Fabian Cancellara in this year’s Swiss national time trial championships and was second overall in the Tour of China I when he crashed out on stage four. His fall left him unable to continue in the race, and he’s still rebuilding from it.

“It was not a special crash, also not a fast one,” he recollected. “It was really slippery when it started, and in one corner there was oil or something on the road and my front wheel slid away. When I tried to jump back on my bike I felt there was something not good. I had a lot of pain. I broke my hip at the femur bone and I have also a second fracture on my thigh.

“It was a pity because I was second in GC and I felt and saw that I was one of the strongest in the field there. It was sad that I was not there anymore for the two time trials.”

Thomas FreiThe injured areas were bolstered with screws and rods, as the photo shows. Since then he’s been healing up and was able to start using crutches after two and a half weeks, several weeks earlier than expected. He’s currently in Italy spending time there on the beach with his family, but is also working towards getting back on the bike soon.

“I’m putting all my power and motivation together to prepare for 2013,” he said. “The improvements are really fast. Although I’m still in physiotherapy, I plan to start riding on the road in middle of October.”

Frei is hoping he doesn’t lose too much fitness in the meantime, and has the benefit of several months’ of training in his legs. He’s relatively satisfied with his first season back,

“It was okay…I had some good moments, including the silver medal in nationals time trial,” he said. “I also did some good races, and in some stage races I worked a lot for Schumi [Stefan Schumacher – ed]. I couldn’t go for my own results there, but that how it works…if a teammate wins, it is no problem.

“In some races I felt that the little extras are still not here, but that is normal after two years of not racing. That said, I felt also some improvements compared to before the ban.”

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