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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, November 26, 2015

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary

"What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindess?" - Jean Jacques Rouseau

Power's debut with Orica-GreenEdge postponed

This news came from the team:

Up and coming Australian climber Robert Power will delay his debut for Orica-GreenEDGE after the return of a knee injury that kept him sidelined for the second half of his 2015 season in the under23 ranks. The 20-year-old West Australian returned to training in recent weeks only for his knee soreness to return and worsen.

Thanks to the support of Orica-GreenEDGE medical director Dr Peter Barnes and the Australian Institute of Sport, Power went under comprehensive testing at the recent team camp in Canberra. Barnes, along with a panel of experienced and respected sports physicians, including Dr David Hughes and Dr Greg Lovell from the AIS, diagnosed the 20-year-old with Bone Marrow Oedema Syndrome – a form of bone stress with an MRI appearance similar to a bone bruise but not related to trauma and without obvious explanation.

Barnes, who has followed Power’s progress since his signing with the Australian outfit early this year, said he’d never seen this condition in a young athlete in 40years of sports medicine.

“Rob has been experiencing pain while climbing and doing strength endurance efforts,” Dr Barnes explained. “The frustrating thing for him as a young athlete is that he can walk, run and jump with no pain at all and is perfectly normal to clinical examination. We took him through a variety of testing at the AIS, including MRI, bone scans, Bone Density Scan and blood tests, and then sat down as a group to provide some answers.

“Whilst it’s extremely uncommon, the condition is well described in the medical literature and unfortunately there is no ‘cure’. What we do know, however, is that it will heal itself in time. The big question is when and the literature says it’s could be anywhere between four and 24months.”

Whilst Power is forced off the bike for the foreseeable future, collaboration with the West Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) may see the young climber access the elite swimming and kayaking programs to maintain his fitness while avoiding weight bearing activities and cycling.

“We are extremely lucky in Australia to have access to the resources we do,” Dr Barnes continued. “Not only did we have some of the world’s best on hand to diagnose the problem, but we also have a facility like WAIS in Rob’s home town that can provide a program and support him to a full recovery.”

Despite being disappointed in having to delay his debut into professional cycling, Power remains positive for a return to the bike as soon as possible.

“Of course it’s disappointing that I can’t join the Orica-GreenEDGE boys as planned early next year,” Power said. “As frustrating as any injury can be, especially one that you can’t do much to assist in its recovery, I’m grateful that we now know what the problem is. I appreciate the level of support shown to me by my team, the AIS and WAIS and I’m extremely motivated to use this time productively to not only recover fully, but to further my development in other areas off the bike and return a more rounded rider and person.”

Sport director Matt White knows time is in Power’s favour. “Rob is 20-years-old,” White said. “Obviously it’s disappointing for any athlete to have an injury that sidelines them from competing, but a lot of guys don’t turn professional when they are 20, 21 or 22 years of age so it’s not going to have a huge affect on his career at all.”

“We don’t know when he will be back but we do know that it will go away. In the meantime, it allows him to work on some other areas of his fitness that will assist his performance on the bike that may have otherwise taken a back seat in the short term. And then once it has followed its due course and he is ready, he will be straight back into the team.”

Lampre-Merida team meeting

The team sent me this update:

One year later and with 30 victories more and a bunch of National titles, Lampre-Merida will gather in Darfo Boario Terme for the first team meeting in view of the 2016 season.

The thermal place has been for years the launching pad for the cycling seasons of the blue-fuchsia-green team and for 2016 too the team of the manager Copeland will be in Darfo Boario Terme for setting the basis of the next future.

Thanks to the City of Darfo Boario Terme, the AS Boario and the pool of sponsors involved by Ezio Maffi, Lampre-Merida will be hosted in Hotel San Martino (Via San Martino 28, Darfo Boario Terme) from Monday November 30th to Thursday December 3rd. The whole roster will attend the team meeting, except for Chun Kai Feng and Tsgabu Grmay, so Darfo Boario Terme will welcome top riders such as former world champion Rui Costa, Modolo and Ulissi, the young guns Polanc, Pibernik and Petilli and all the new signed athletes.

Many important activities are scheduled, first of them the medical examinations which will be organized by the Centro Camuno di Medicina Sportiva “Camillo Golgi”.

Another main aim of the team meeting will be the definition of the planning of the first part of the season and the evaluation of the technical items. Also the chance to create a team spirit is one of the main reasons of the team meeting.
Team staff will operate following instructions by team manager Copeland, who’ll will be sided by the whole group of sport directors, the heads of the operative office Fabrizio Bontempi and Maurizio Piovani, the general coordinator Andrea Appiani and the press officer Carlo Saronni.

In order to thank As Boario and the pool of sponsors that contributed to the team meeting, on Wednesday the 2nd, at 7 pm, Team Lampre-Merida and its champions will take part in a public meeting that will be organized by As Boario in Sala Conferenze of Hotel San Martino.

"The warm welcome we always receive in Darfo Boario Terme will help us to set the basis for the next season - team manager Copeland said - This meeting is very important in order to give to the riders all the necessary support and to program the 2016, also thanks to the fundamental help from our sponsors and suppliers. It would be great to meet again those riders who lived with us an impressive 2015 season and to welcome the new cyclists who'll be in the team in the next year.

Thanks to Ezio Maffi, his pool of sponsors and to the city of Darfo Boario Terme".

The team also sent this news about racer Grmay:

The 2015 season was full of satisfactions for LAMPRE-MERIDA and Tsgasbu Gebremaryam Grmay and it promoted the one year renewal of the contract for the African athlete.

The first Ethiopian cyclist to wear the jersey of the team of the manager Copeland deserved the one year extension of the agreement thanks to his friendliness, his politeness and his will to improve his cycling skills, which allowed him to achieve sport satisfactions.

Tsgasbu Grmay

Tsgasbu Grmay racing at the 2015 Vuelta

The twenty-four year old from Mekele raced for 90 days during the season, having the debut in two Great Tours (Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana) and completing them. He achieved three victories, that are the road and time trial Ethiopian championship and African time trial championship, in addition to good results in the top positions of the youth classifications of World Tour races (5th place in the Tour Down Under, 8th in the Tour de Romandie and 8th in the Tirreno-Adriatico).

Grmay, who already started to train on Ethiopian roads after the break, commented: "First of all, I want to thank all the team members and all of our sponsors for the great 2015 season. I'm so happy and lucky to be a member of the team and to have the opportunity to be a blue-fuchsia-green rider in 2016 too. I can't wait to start racing and to get even better results for the team and for me".

Team manager Copeland explained that: "The team management and the sport directors are very satisfied with Grmay, who had no problems in realizing good performances in his debut year in the World Tour.
We feel Tsgabu will be able to improve even more his cycling skills in 2016: he already started to train with a good attitude which is positive for the whole team."

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary