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Directeur Sportif John Lelangue was immediately by Scott and stayed with him until he returned from the hospital to the hotel. (foto by Tim De Waele)
Directeur Sportif John Lelangue was immediately by Scott and stayed with him until he returned from the hospital to the hotel. (foto by Tim De Waele)

Nydam: Rattled my brain a bit, but I have a clean bill of health

20. February 2009


The day after suffering what Directeur Sportif John Lelangue called the scariest crash he had ever seen, Scott Nydam is determined not to let this setback adversely impact his season. 

Though he did suffer a concussion bad enough that he had to be woken up every two hours the night after the crash, Nydam feels that he should be able to return to training quickly once he has his re-broken collarbone attended to in the next few days.

Even the routine things can be dangerous

"I was routinely going back to the car to drop off the jackets like I have done hundreds of times before, and I remember I had to pass a jacket from my left hand to my right, and in the process, the sleeve or something grabbed my break lever making my bars do a 180°.  I remember having a split second of panic that I was going down, but then the next thing I knew I was waking up in the ambulance listening to John Lelangue's voice.  It's so bizarre since I had made it safely through all those terribly rainy days and we had even just come down a really treacherous descent that I had no trouble on, and then this happened.  It just goes to show you."

Clean bill of health after the concussion, what about the collarbone?

"I broke my collarbone right at the end of the titanium plate that was put in it last time I broke it at the Tour of Utah.  We will need to fix that, probably by taking out and replacing the old plate.  Dr. Heiden who performed the surgery last time is on vacation, but currently flying home to Salt Lake City, so I can either fly out there to have the surgery done Friday by Dr. Heiden, or I can use a doctor in Santa Rosa who Dr. Heiden highly recommends.  In either case, it should be no problem and I should be on the bike again very quickly." 

How will this impact your early season plans?

"If I get this fixed tomorrow, then by early next week I should be able to ride on the road again.  I need to let my body recuperate, not only from the race, but also the surgery.  But since I'm not racing to the end of the Tour of California, at least that is giving me a head start and hopefully I won't miss a beat of my training regime.  My racing schedule picks up again at the end of March for Redlands and then hopefully European racing in April.  Being on this team gives me so many amazing opportunities.  I want to be fit enough to be on the Tour of Romandie team.  That is a race a lot of guys would love to be able to do, so I am determined to stay on track for that because it is something I really want to do with this team."

A good group of professionals around to lend support

"When I woke up in the ambulance and heard John talking, one of my first realizations is that he left the race to come be with me and make sure I was okay.  And then when we arrived at the hospital our team doctor, Scott Major and PR Officer, Georges Lüchinger were already there waiting for me.  So I can't speak enough about the thorough care and concern everyone on the team has shown for me both when I was in the emergency room and since being released.  John was with me the whole time and that is so comforting for a rider to know that not only are people worried and looking out for you, but that they are able to handle these sorts of situations.  The true test of a team comes when something like this happens, and I feel very fortunate.  Gavin Chilcott was able to stay with the guys still racing and they pulled in a top finish on the stage, and I have probably the top medical team in Drs. Heiden, Major and Max Testa looking after me.  Once I was released from hospital, the team got me situated and organized a private hotel room for me and made arrangements for my fiancée, Jennifer, to join me.  I feel very fortunate indeed."