Mountain bike: Léandre Bouchard ready to take back the collar

Six weeks after a nasty fall in Brazil that left him in a sorry state, Léandre Bouchard made his first outing on the trails on his mountain bike on Wednesday, after receiving the green light from his orthopedist a few hours earlier, and will return to competition no later than June 4.

Mountain bike: Léandre Bouchard ready to take back the collar

Six weeks after a nasty fall in Brazil that left him in a sorry state, Léandre Bouchard made his first outing on the trails on his mountain bike on Wednesday, after receiving the green light from his orthopedist a few hours earlier, and will return to competition no later than June 4.

• Read also: Significant support for Léandre Bouchard

“When I got into a mountain bike trail, I felt like I never stopped,” said the Rio 2016 Olympian. I regained my bearings and felt no pain. This is an important step before my return to competition. I had done a few outings, but only on the road. »

Optimistic before showing up at his orthopedist, Bouchard wanted to get back on track from May 26 to 28 for the Pan-American championship in Argentina, but he might have to wait until the Canada Cup from June 3 to 5 in Baie- Saint-Paul, as foreseen in its initial plan.

"I'm in a dilemma," he summed up. On the taco, we could see that my ribs are not completely welded. My bone rehabilitation is not 100% complete. In 10 days in Argentina, that would give me time, but my doctor preferred that I wait two more weeks and not just 10 days. I am thinking with my team. »

Serious injuries

In a training run, an hour before the presentation of the Short Track World Cup on April 8 in Petropolis, Brazil, Bouchard went over his handlebars. Results of the operation: five fractured ribs, a dislocation of two ligaments and a pneumothorax which led to contusion and bleeding in the lungs.

The first diagnosis in a hospital in Brazil had not detected anything serious, but a taco suffered on his return to Lac-Saint-Jean revealed the extent of the damage.

"I was completely rested for a week and a half and I made a gradual comeback," said the cyclist from Alma. At first, I had difficulty walking my dog. I switched to easy 20-minute bike rides, but I was out of breath. »

With the help of his physiotherapist, Stéphane Brassard, the reigning Canadian champion has gone through all the stages en route to his return. "I suffered serious injuries and was worried at first because my lungs were affected, but I recovered at full speed. At 95% of my capacity, I'm not ready for peak performance again, but everything will be back to normal in two to three weeks. »

In an interview at the start of the season, Bouchard told us that he wanted to crack the top 10 in the World Cup. Still realistic? "It's not out of reach," he said. The good side of my injury is that I will arrive fresher during an intense period in July, when the competitions will follow. »


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