Down but not out

With eyes on Paris-Roubaix, Langeveld begins recovery

Winter training miles are long and dark. In the Netherlands, in particular.


For a classics specialist like Sebastian LangeveldSebastian Langeveld, 40 hours a week of training isn’t uncommon. The miles tick by, and with each passing one there’s a deposit into the bank for the season’s shining goals. Omloop, Flanders, Roubaix… those races are the reason Langeveld and so many others spend those long and cold days out on the bike with only their thoughts for company.


And that’s why, when something goes amiss in the early season, it can sting so bad.


Langeveld sustained a broken collarbone and some road rash when he crashed during the third stage of Étoile de Bessèges last Friday, putting a dent into his early season plans. He had surgery in the Netherlands over the weekend to repair the break. Now comes the tough part for someone like Langeveld: waiting and healing, as he keeps his eyes on the biggest races for him of the entire season.


“The operation went very well. There’s nothing special to report,” Langeveld said Monday. “I just have to see when my body feels OK to go on the trainer again. After that, the next step is the road. It could be a week, it could be two weeks. We just have to see how the recovery will go. For now, I just have to relax and give my body the time it needs.”


The team’s head of medicine, Dr. Kevin Sprouse, echoed the Dutchman. “At this point, Sebastian will feel it out day by day and start to return to training as he’s ready and progress form there. Every surgery, every injury, is individual,” Sprouse noted.


Langeveld was instrumental in last year’s Tour of Flanders win by teammate Alberto Bettiol, and he’s a very strong card in the chaos lottery of Paris-Roubaix, finishing third at Roubaix in 2017.


“I’m very positive about doing the classics. It’s not ideal, but it’s one of those circumstances you don’t have an influence on in the whole preparation. I trained all winter for Flanders and Roubaix; this is just one of those things you’ve got to handle. Now it’s a collarbone, but it could have been the flu, or something else,” Langeveld said. “With the team behind me, with EF behind me, with Jonathan Vaughters as a coach, we can tackle this to make a very good plan.”