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"I’ll miss the next race on the schedule, but make the very next one after that". (Foto by Tim De Waele)
"I’ll miss the next race on the schedule, but make the very next one after that". (Foto by Tim De Waele)

One cobble too many - Tony Cruz Interview

13. April 2008

Belgium

Having come off of the Redlands Bicycle Classic in top form, Tony Cruz was very excited about the month of racing ahead of him.  “The day after Redlands, I leave for Belgium to do two races,” Tony said after the final Redlands stage.  “These two particular races are new to me, but I love racing in Belgium; it is my favourite style of racing.  And then I’ll come back for Georgia, which is a highlight to the year.”

Change of plans


Unfortunately for Tony and the BMC Racing Team, his April plans were drastically altered when he crashed after 55km of racing during Thursday’s GP Pino Cerami.  Luckily Tony’s Directeur Sportif John Lelangue has connections, and was able to get Tony an appointment with one of Belgium’s pre-eminent sports surgeons.  “This surgeon is a friend of mine and my fathers,” Lelangue admitted.  “He is a cycling freak, and renowned for his work in sports medicine, so we were very lucky to get him to do the surgery on such short notice.”  Though the surgery went very well, Tony will have to count out his chances of racing the Tour of Georgia, and instead focus on doing the Tour of Picardie with the team in May.  The night before his flight home to the US, Tony was able to take a little time to describe what exactly went wrong.

How did it happen?

Tony Cruz: Well we were about 55 km into the race, and were at the front trying to create a split.  We were on a cobbled climb and just as we crested it there were two tight turns.  I just lost my front wheel on some gravel or something on the last turn.  I fell directly on my shoulder.  It hurt but I wasn’t sure that I had really damaged it.  I hoped and felt like I had just sprained the muscles a bit, so I got back on my bike and kept riding.  I was stretching it thinking it was just the muscles, but after an hour or so, I could feel what I guess was the two pieces of bone chaffing each other, so I had to face up to the fact I had broken something.  I guess that was at about 110km into the race.

This means you won’t be doing Georgia, right?

TC: Yeah, and I am super disappointed.  That is a great race.

But you’ll be back in time for Picardie in the middle of May.  Is that a race you feel suited for?

TC: Oh yeah, that’s a great race for me.  I’ve already done it two or three times.  So I’ll miss the next race on the schedule, but make the very next one after that.

Sounds like you had some expert medical support.  How soon will you be back on the bike?

TC: Very soon.  I had surgery Saturday and will be flying back to the States on Sunday.  Then by Tuesday I will be on the trainer for a day or two and hopefully then get on the road.  The doctor put a big piece of titanium in my shoulder.  The place I went to have the surgery has the best sports surgeon in the country with the best equipment.  I was surprised by the turnaround time.  The doctor said I could be riding in 2 days and racing in 3 weeks.  That is perfect for me, instead of having to wait around or fly back to the states for the work.  I’m very fortunate that it worked out this way.