Velogal's Blog

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Bummer - we have two more Discovery Channel Team guys on the injury list. Both Roger Hammond and Michael Barry got eaten up by the crappy riding conditions at Tour of Flanders. Michael has three broken vertebrae and a concussion - he hit a guardrail and flew over it, landing on his face and crunching his back. He'll be out for several weeks. Here's his website to send good wishes Michael Barry .

Roger Hammond got knocked off his bike and hit a sharp, ugly cobblestone with his knee - really hard. You can visit his site and send him a note Roger Hammond . Here's what Roger says on his website: Thanks to everyone that has sent good wishes after my crash yesterday. I'm pleased to say it is not as bad as first thought. I hit the corner of a cobble stone as I hit the ground. The impact split the skin leaving a rather large hole just below my knee. An x-ray showed nothing was broken and the surgeon was able to open the wound and visually check the tendons around the knee hadn't been damaged, the whole process made me feel a bit worse than I already felt. So all in all, to have been able to walk away with 'only' 14 stitches and a very sore knee was a bit of a relief. I'm not sure how long it will be before I'm back on the bike but I hope it won't be too long. The wound isn't on the kneecap itself, hence it shouldn't be troubled by any bending of the knee, though at the moment that is very painful to test! I will keep my site updated with my progress. Once again thanks you all for you concern! .

Here's an article from the UK Guardian by Roger Williams about the crash (Yes, the Brits love Roger!):

Hell holds no fear for hard man Hammond

The last time I saw Roger Hammond, just over 18 months ago, he was walking away from the finish of the Olympic road race in Athens, exhausted but smiling, having finished a highly creditable seventh after riding his bike round the Acropolis for six hours in temperatures approaching 40C (104F). Britain's best male road-racing cyclist is a hard man who spends the winter winning cyclo-cross events, but on Sunday his agony eclipsed even the pain of a losing Boat Race oarsman as he lay by the side of a narrow road in Belgium with a large hole in his leg.

Eurosport's cameras caught the sight of Hammond's spectacular fall during the Tour of Flanders, and its microphones captured his howls of pain. The sequence of brutal climbs that provide the climax to cycling's equivalent of the Grand National had barely begun when a chain reaction within the peloton knocked him over; his leg landed on the sharp edge of the cobbled verge, opening a wound which went down to the shinbone.

Yesterday, after a few hours in hospital, he was counting his 14 stitches and wondering whether he would be fit to rejoin the Discovery Channel team in time for the next one-day classic, the Paris-Roubaix - dubbed the Hell of the North - this Sunday. "Luckily," he said during a phone conversation, "the stitches are below the knee, on a part of the leg that doesn't actually stretch when you're pedalling. The wound was so big that the surgeon could look inside to check that the tendons weren't damaged. Now I've got to wait and see whether the bone is badly bruised."

No sport, not even boxing, demands as much resistance to pain and suffering from its participants as cycling. As we saw three years ago, when Tyler Hamilton rode through most of the Tour de France with a broken collarbone, they tend to respond with acts of heroism. If Roger Hammond isn't there when the field sets off on Sunday, you can bet it will be because someone has strapped him to his sick-bed.

Thanks to The Guardian for the courtesy of this news blurb...


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