CANYON//SRAM Racing's Barbara Guarischi is in full training despite breaking her left elbow three weeks ago during a crash at La Course by Le Tour de France. The Italian sprinter is making a faster than expected recovery and has her sights set on returning to racing in September.
The crash happened early in the UCI Women's WorldTour race in Paris on 24 July and Guarischi suffered a fractured left olecranon, part of her ulnar bone. "My first thought was to my shoulder because I broke it in April this year. But then I knew quickly that my elbow was not good." The diagnosis was made by Xray on-site at the race with a mobile medical unit. "I was really disappointed and upset. I flew home to Italy and had surgery the day after my crash. The surgeon put in a large plate and six screws but they said it was not a complicated operation."
After suffering a broken shoulder earlier in the season that required surgery, Guarischi missed many of the Spring Classics. Now suffering a broken elbow in July the 25 year old, and member of the winning Team Time Trial World Championship squad last year in Richmond USA, could be forgiven for thinking that 2016 was not her year of luck.
"After the crash in February, I was just angry that I was missing the Spring Classics that I love and I missed being there to help my team. But okay. I worked hard and I came back and I won a race at Omloop van Borsele (Netherlands) in April. But now to break my elbow, well I'll admit that it's hard to deal with that mentally."
"At the start, in the first hours after the crash it was hard to think that I could stand up and go again through all the rehabilitation and come back to racing this year. But after a few days with some friends I started to think that it can be a moment to teach myself something in life. And that I don't have to stop just for this 'little' thing. Life is much more than one broken arm."
Guarischi's recovery has been remarkable and the surgeon gave her clearance to start easy riding on the road less than four days after surgery. "The doctors are all very happy about how it's going. They said my recovery is not normal! The first days after surgery I used the Wahoo SNAP trainer indoors, but then on the fourth day I could go on the road. I started easy but after a week I could do intensity and after two weeks I could train on the road for five hours. Since then I've done more or less my normal training. I've been in Livigno at altitude and also doing daily physiotherapy, gym and pool sessions."
Guarischi will now look to return to racing with CANYON//SRAM Racing in September. The UCI Road World Championships in Doha, Qatar remains a goal. "I can say that I'm not happy with my season, with two broken bones nothing has gone as I wanted. But I have still kept the long term goal of the World Championships road race. Now I am focused on coming back in good shape and if I deserve the call up, then Italy still needs select me. If I'm not in good shape then I'll be the first to admit it and say no. But to get to that point I first have my goal of winning a race for my team and our partners in September."
CANYON//SRAM Racing will next race at the UCI Women's WorldTour in Vårgårda, Sweden on 19 and 21 August.