My apologies for not updating the news for the last couple of weeks. I did have time to write, but I didn’t honestly feel like it. Stress and frustration are the only words I can describe after my experiences of the last two weeks. But I did have some joy also, so really it has all has been a roller coaster ride. Here’s why…
After my big crash, and the following week of nightmare recovery with constant pain, I was determined to race my first 3 day tour of the season, the Vuelta Segovia. My team were still concerned about my physical condition, but I told them that I would be fine – and when I said that, I knew that I had to commit fully to making a valiant effort, without any further choice. So there I was, at stage 1 of the Vuelta Segovia, at the start line, while the sun was torturing us like a flame thrower, and many of us were trying to get into the comfort of the shade.
My hand was still bandaged and my legs were very sluggish, and when we set off I was way at the back trying to find the rhythm. After the previous week’s crash, I was still feeling battered up, with a torn muscle on my left shoulder, partly healed cuts and grazes on my left arm, and a huge bandage over my hand. Stage 1 was going well, until my saddle came loose, tilted to the left, which put me in an awkward position to pedal, where I was forced to use my right leg to do most of the work. At that point It didn’t bother me too much, as staying in the bunch on the flat course wasn’t a problem, until there was a crash in front of me. I managed to stop in time, but a rider hit me from behind, slamming into my injured left shoulder. I really did want to scream, but I kept my mouth shut while holding the bar aggressively tight, and I swear that I felt all the muscles get torn up again. Nevertheless, I continued to ride and I tried to get back to the peloton.
I looked back at the crash and realised that our best climber was on the ground, so I slowed down and was waiting for him to get on my wheel. When he finally got on my wheel, I went full power to catch the peloton, and I couldn’t pedal properly due to the saddle, but I fought and finally got him back in the peloton. The saddle position was getting worse, and I had to ignore it. There was a cobbled (pave) section coming up, which I was looking forward to, but as soon as we went over it, I felt the pain of my hand with very strong vibrational impacts. I was immediately dropped, and eventually the bunch went out of sight. I did not want to give up until I was being forced to, due to the time gap.
I had missed the classification, so that was me out of the Vuelta Segovia. But there was still a race to run for the team, so I changed from a rider to a soigneur for the rest of the tour! I embraced the job, and it was a good experience. I was helping to motivate the team, checking out the bikes, feeding the riders and looking after them. Our climber came 17th overall in the GC, which is an impressive result, and our team are very pleased with that.
After the 3 day Vuelta Segovia, when I got back to Madrid, despite my injuries I continued to look ahead to my next 2 races. I trained hard and tried to recover my body as fast as I could. The first race of the following weekend, the Gran Premio Tetuan, went well for me, where I came 25th, but I still didn’t have my legs though.
The following day’s race, the Trofeo Arevalo, should have been perfect for me… 140km flat, windy and rainy. I was confident, and I was thinking the big result. My legs were awake and in good condition. The race went well at the start for me, where I attacked twice but it didn’t work. I was in good form until we hit the cobblestones (pave), where I was dropped immediately. I tried to ignore the pain of my hand, but it was slowing me down so, I was riding with one hand, which was very risky. I was forced out of the race, and I was gutted, but there was nothing that I could do. My team mate Pepe did a great effort, where he came 12th, which was another good result for the team.
This week during training I had another problem with the bike when I had to fit a new gear cable. From now on, it’s all about surviving without any damage to the bike for the rest of the season! I was supposed to race today in the Tour of Avila 2 day race, but one of the days races is on cobbles (pave), so it was too risky for the team to let me race without knowing if I can finish or not. I think it’s a good decision, as it has given me more time to recover my hand and rebuild my strength. My next race is next week up in the Basque Country, so I’ve been training hard and looking forward to giving it everything I’ve got.
— Sol Warwick (@solwarwick) June 27, 2016
— Pizzería Española (@EquipoPizzeria) June 27, 2016
— Pizzería Española (@EquipoPizzeria) June 29, 2016
— Sol Warwick (@solwarwick) July 7, 2016
— Sol Warwick (@solwarwick) July 8, 2016