Poels making steady progress in training after severe Tour de France injuries
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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Poels making steady progress in training after severe Tour de France injuries

by VeloNation Press at 9:54 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
 
Dutch rider determined he will return to professional cycling

Wout PoelsBadly injured in the massive stage six pileup in the Tour de France, Vacansoleil rider Wout Poels is continuing his push towards getting back to professional cycling.

The Dutchman went close to losing a kidney because of the crash, with the organ being ruptured when he fell. He also suffered a ruptured spleen, a bruised lung and three broken ribs.

Now, after several months of recovery, he was able to join his team-mates Lieuwe Westra and Bert-Jan Lindeman two weeks ago on a training camp in Alicante. That was a step forward, but also served to show him how much work lies ahead.

“It's not like I have been out with a broken collarbone. I really was far below zero,” he told De Telegraaf. “I had four surgeries under general anaesthetic, was weeks on morphine and bedridden. I had barely anything left of my muscle. I literally had to learn to walk again.”

Poels said that he was worried about not being able to keep up with his team-mates, but was relieved to see that things were not so bad on the training camp. He’s still far below his usual level, but said that he’s been encouraged by what he saw.

“It’s a huge boost…it shows that I can continue as a professional cyclist,” he said. However he knows that it will take time. “Already I understand that I am in the short term I should not expect too much from my body.”

At 25 years of age, Poels has time on his side. His past results suggest a big future if he can return to his former level; he was second on two stages of last year’s Vuelta a España, and this year won a stage and took the best young rider classification in the Tour of Luxembourg. He was also second overall in the race, third overall in the Vuelta a Murcia and won the best young rider award in Tirreno – Adriatico.

He’s determined to work hard. “I have always been convinced that I can return to the top as a cyclist,” he said.

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