Lance is having surgery today for his broken collarbone, suffered in a 10-rider pile up during the Vuelta a Castilla y LeÃƒÂ³n bicycle race this past weekend. Ã‚Â X-rays indicated the fracture was more serious than originally thought, so he’ll be getting a plate inserted to stabilize his mid-shaft clavicle fracture. Ã‚Â Armstrong indicated it was broken in more than one place.
Regarding the upcoming Giro d’Italia, which starts on May 9, Armstrong said:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is a very common cycling injury and you hear of guys able to race in two weeks and other guys that race two months later,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Four to six weeks seems long to me but again, time will tell. Obviously the Giro is on peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s minds and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about five weeks away. In my opinion I think the Giro is still very doable.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Fortunately IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve done a lot of off-season work that I think will help me through this,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think my condition was really coming to a place where I was going to be able to ride at the front of the races and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s good news and bad news Ã¢â‚¬â€ bad news that I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t able to show it in the races, but the good news is that if you get injured with good form you can come back with decent form. You arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t starting from rock bottom.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The accident apparently shook him a little, he called it “the biggest setback I’ve had in my cycling career.”
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I knew it hurt like hell and whenever you have a big pain like that your mind tells you to feel it to make sure nothing is sticking out, but at the same time youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re a little scared to feel it,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“So I took a quick brush with my hand over my collarbone and what I thought were cables from my radio in fact werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. So I realized then it was broken pretty good.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Lying in the ditch in that situation, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re asking yourself, what the hell am I doing here?Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But I think thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a normal reaction and I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t feel that way today necessarily, although IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m feeling a lot of pain and ready to get this behind me. It was definitely a shock. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve raced bikes for a long, long time and never had anything like that. Quite honestly, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s part of racing and to go as long as IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve gone without having something happening like this is basically a miracle.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Photo from Lance’s Twitter stream.