• Mariske Strauss

2022 XCO Zadov-CZE

From serious pollen in Nove Mesto na Morave(NMNM) to being airlifted off the course in Zadov… I think it’s safe to say this was not my best trip.


I arrived in Zadov on my birthday last Monday, eager for another opportunity to race my bike before heading home, but unfortunately, life does not always go according to plan. In this case not even close! I was still feeling a bit flu-ish after NMNM but the bonus was that we were a bit higher up in Zadov, we had some rain and there were not as many pine trees around. This all meant less pollen in the air and a little break for my poor airways to breathe a bit easier. Everything was going great and although I was not feeling 100% myself I was still excited to line up and race my bike.


Before I knew it, it was already race day, and not having back up I set off to do the race unsupported. I took things a little easier at the start with the plan to ride myself into the race and finish strong. The track was natural with a lot of roots, rocks, grass, and about 160m of climbing. About halfway into the 3rd lap, I decided


to start pushing a bit harder, knowing I was fast on the technical terrain I could capitalize … and that was all she wrote…


Into the first rock garden, I clipped one of the poles used to mark the course with my handlebar and that slingshot me into the rocks at full speed, without my bike! Pro-tip; main thing of any bike race - stay on your bike, rubber side down! The main impact was on my left hip, the hard-headed Afrikaner in me obviously made a show when they tried to take my bike away. When I finally managed to compose myself and got back up I politely told them I would like to finish, please. Reluctantly, and with applause I left the site of impact, and utilizing the fresh boost of adrenaline I set off determined to finish this race, which was however short-lived.


I don’t believe in quitting a race, ever, but health comes first and I made the call to stop. Well, technically my body made it for me. With a lot of sign language, I asked one of the marshals to call help who arrived shortly after I sat myself down next to the track. I cannot thank the medical team at Zadov enough for the help and assistance they offered. I was airlifted out to a bigger hospital as they suspected a hip fracture.



I am not exactly sure what the prognosis is but at least I managed to get home safe and sound with the help of the Race Director, David, my travel insurance as well as all the angels I met along the way.


At least I am standing, breathing, and back home. I have an inkling of what’s wrong but I am trying not to jump the gun and make it worse than it is. I will be visiting my lovely friends at SportsRad for further investigation later this week to get a clearer picture of what we are dealing with. Thank you Dr R de Villiers and the team at SportsRad for helping set this all up.


For now, I am doing my best to keep still and calm about yet another injury. Injury is unfortunately part of the game, luckily I am surrounded by amazing humans to help me through it all. I will keep you posted and let you know when I know more.



Stay safe,

M

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