Fabian Cancellara spoke with the press today in the Crossklinik in Basel, Switzerland, where he underwent surgical treatment following his crash in the Tour of Flanders last Sunday.
At the start of the press conference, team doctor Andreas Gösele explained to the press how the four-part fracture of Cancellara’s right collarbone (picture above) was treated and what the next steps are. Gösele: “My colleague, doctor Farkas, used a clavicle pin (picture below) to put the bone together. It’s a procedure where we insert a pin in the clavicle itself, instead of using a plate and a lot of screws to keep the bone together. This procedure is a lot more natural and doesn’t affect the strength of the bone once the device is removed. The pin will be removed once the fracture is completely healed, at the very earliest in six weeks time. But this is really a small routine operation.”
Medically speaking Cancellara would be fit to train on a ergometer, but the Swiss champion still has a lot of muscle pain from the crash. “I’m happy that the surgery went so well, but I’m still in pain. I’m going to rest a couple of days, maybe even a week, and then resume training. I had two major goals this season: the classics and the Olympics. The spring campaign is unfortunately over for me now. Because I had planned a break after the classics anyway, my build-up towards London will not change. The plan is that I return to competition in May, possibly the Bayern Rundfahrt, as I did last year.”
Two days after the crash, Cancellara looks back at the incident with regret, but also sees the broader perspective. “A crash is part of cycling, and in a way it’s also part of life. I have been working really hard in the last four months to be in the best shape possible for the big races; and I’m confident that I would have performed well. However, I’m glad I only broke my collarbone and that I’m ok for the rest. I’ll be back!”
Cancellara expressed his gratitude for the support of the team and the fans before and during the classics. “The amount of messages wishing me a speedy recovery is really nice. I also had a lot of contact with the team members that are still in Belgium. I told them that they should keep their heads up and be ready for a good battle on the cobblestones on Sunday.”
He also thanked the medical staff at the Crossklinik in Basel and praised his wife Stefanie, who is pregnant with their second child. “A bike rider needs the unconditional support of his family to perform well. Stefanie knows this and she fully supports my career. Now that we are expecting a second baby, I’m even more motivated to train hard and aim high for the Olympics.”