Wednesday, 2 February 2011


Feel sorry for Taylor Phinney, one of my picks for this year's season. He's an incredible rider, strong in both TT and track, as well as doing quite good on the cobbles as well, 2 times U23 Paris-Roubaix champion and a U23 WC title speak for themselves.

Taylor outsprints the others on the velodrome
Picture from

Why do I feel sorry for such a rider? On his blog today, Phinney described his injury and how stressful his first camp at BMC was. I can imagine what went through his mind, meeting his teammates, most for the first time in his life, they probably have as big expectations on his behalf as he got himself. Only to be left on the side of the road with team doc and a DS. What a feeling.

As I mentioned on twitter he's not the only pro getting injuries of various kinds early in the season. Last year Edvald Boasson Hagen struggled with an achilles injury, putting him out most of the classics, as well as loosing precious time on the bike during the spring. There are many who get injured on the bike, the majority recreational riders. These results are valid, i.e. compared to the actual number of riders, but I'm gonna focus on some potential reasons why cyclists get injured early in the season.

The bike
Some argues that the bike could be the reason. Being "adjusted" to one bike for many years, with one set of pedals doing thousands of repetitive movements can make the body too accustomed. A small change in the bike fit combined with very small variations in frame could provoke an injury. Now, I seriously doubt a pro would say that "yes, it was the sponsor's bike which got me injured, it gives me a slightly different position on the bike". That would create some lifted eyebrows from the sponsor, so there can be other reasons like...

Right size?
Does not need much text to explain this one, with 1/4 inch tires and 70km/h down mountainsides, this happens. Also driveway injuries, who have not been able to un-clip their shoe correctly one or more times during their cycling career? 

Overuse injuries
Giving it a bit too much too early in the season, i.e. large gear, excessive hill work, too fast or too long are all factors that will enhance the probability to get injured.

If you combine overuse injuries with a new bike, that can make you tip over that egde. I'm not a dr. or a physician, so I can not say that this is the cause of the injury Taylor Phinney has. I just hope he heals up nice and fast, he's a star already but he has got many promising years ahead.

If you want to see data for overuse injuries for road cyclists you can read more here.

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