Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the get well messages. It really makes a difference when you know so many people care and will make for a quicker recovery.
This is what happened:
A rider slid out after the finish line and their bike came across to the right side of the road which is where I was. I tried to avoid the bike and as I ”sort of did” there was a photographer crouched down in front of me. I was already half way over the handle bars when I braced myself for the impact. I went from 60kmh to 0kmh and it was like hitting a brick wall at that speed. I was immediately winded from the impact and could not get any oxygen to my lungs for over 45 seconds which ultimately collapsed my right lung. I felt as though I was being drowned and trust me this was not fun at all. I layed on the road as the rain fell and I wasn’t sure if I had broken my ribs, collarbone, arm or all of them. I finally got up and they tried to get me into an ambulance but I said to the team to take me straight to the bus. This was clearly the adrenalin talking! I got on the bus and when I arrived at the hotel my team doctor asked how I was and I knew there was something wrong and assumed it was a rib broken because of the sharp stabbing pains. We went to the hospital for some scans and they informed me that my lung was collapsing and that they needed to operate immediately. My day just got worse! They put a device, with a tube attached, into my lung. This would allow the air to come out of my lung and was assisted by a vacuum tube. I stayed in hospital for the night and the next day we had to do more scans to see how the lung was doing. Finally the next night the scans came back positive and they removed the vacuum tube but left the box attached so in case it collapsed again they didn’t need to operate. Some good news came today after the 3rd scan and they plugged the hole and allowed the lung to operate on its own as per normal. I still have this box attached to my chest and fingers crossed I can remove it tomorrow.
Well obviously I will miss my first opportunity to race Paris – Roubaix and I’m so bummed about it. I’ll also miss GP Denain and Tour of Turkey. I should be back on the bike in a few weeks and hopefully race early May. The other problem about collapsing a lung is that you can’t fly because of the pressure, which doesn’t suit the life of a cyclist.
Again thanks everyone so much I really appreciate it.