“There were moments when I was unsure of whether I could ever return to my former level”, Rory Sutherland says. The 38-year-old Australian rider has been recovering over the last few months from a broken femur. “Recovering from this injury is the hardest thing I have had to do in my sporting career.”

“Only in the last two to three weeks have I noticed that the patience and hard work are paying off”, Sutherland continues. “I honestly had my doubts whether I ever could get to WorldTour-fitness again, but now I know that I can do it.”

The Australian has been able to take his recovery step by step, obviously because of the Corona crisis. “I’m very fortunate as I have had the time and the patience to do it properly. The shutdown of racing has allowed me to do things correctly and build, together with my trainer Paulo Saldanha from PowerWatts, in a slow but constant manner. I could race now, but another month of training will allow me to rise to a competitive level.”

Greipel: ‘Since April I do specific training’  

Like Sutherland, also André Greipel has been able to take his recovery step by step with his eyes on the restart of the 2020-season. The German sprinter Greipel, who just signed for another two years with Israel Start-Up Nation, said in the Farnese Vini Wine o’Clock livestream on the ISN Facebook page that he is following the training schedules that will bring him back to the highest level.

“The last four months I felt I still have the motivation and I have been working full time to recover from my injury”, Greipel said. “Ten days after my accident I was on the rollers with one arm and during the Covid-19 lockdown, I could train a lot and get base kilometers in. Since April I do specific training. Now with the competition insight, it is easier to work towards certain goals.”

‘The only thing that might be difficult is putting on a jacket on top of a climb’

Race Torquay 2020 – 4th Edition – Torquay – Torquay 133 km – 30/01/2020 – Andre Greipel (GER – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Zac Williams/BettiniPhoto©2020

Also Ben Hermans, who crashed during the Tour Down Under, is on his way back. “The recovery took a while, but I have had my last therapy and I am training seriously again. I nearly have 100% of the range of motion with my shoulder, and I do not see many problems during races. The only thing that might be difficult is putting on a rain jacket on top of a climb.”

“I am definitely on my way back”, Hermans continues. “I follow my training schemes, my weight is good I am preparing for the Vuelta a Burgos as my first race of the new season. I feel fresh, energetic and already quite in shape.”

Ávila and Goldstein looking forward to competing

Edwin Ávila, who crashed off in the Tour du Rwanda, has been doing his rehabilitation processes in Colombia. Also, he is able to follow his training schedules again, for a bit more than a month. “I do need to work a bit more to fully get back in shape, but I am progressing”, he says.

The Colombian is looking forward to starting the 2020-season. “Now that it seems that cycling races are returning worldwide I am looking forward to competing again.”

That is also what’s on Israeli Edo Goldstein mind. He injured himself during the second #OnlyInIsrael training camp, and Goldstein aims to be back racing at the beginning of August. “I cannot ride outside yet, so I am back on the rollers. I hope to compete in the Tour de Savoie.”

‘I want to repay Sylvan Adams for all the help’

Also Sutherland cannot wait till pinning a number on. “I feel like I am on 95% of my capacity now and that is honestly amazing to me. It is great to feel like I am nearly there, ready to race again. I’m personally excited to get to my first race with Israel Start-Up Nation and repay the team and Sylvan Adams for all the help and support they have given me during the last six months. I have experienced incredible support from the entire team and now I’m ready to get out there and race. I also honestly think all of this, the whole rehabilitation process, will bring me more of an appreciation of racing and riding my bike.”