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Injury proves positive for James McCoy
Jun 23rd, 12. An injury which saw Kiwi international James McCoy miss the first part of the season has given him the perspective to refocus and improve his cycling prospects.
"It sounds so cliché the whole injury thing – it takes you missing something to realise what you've got, but not being able to ride my bike made me realise how much I loved the sport. It opened my eyes and makes me want to go so much harder," the 22 year old told RoadCycling.co.nz
McCoy has been out of action since February due to severe tendonitis in his right leg, but he is now on his way back to full strength and will soon rejoin his PureBlack Racing team overseas.
"I have missed out on what would have been a good half year away, but in the long term I am going to benefit from what I have found out about myself in the last couple of months," he explained.
The non-crash injury
McCoy's issue started when he changed his seat to one that proved to be too high. What started as a niggle in his right leg got progressively worse until the pain was unbearable.
It was an extensive process for the Cantabrian to diagnose and treat his issue. He become well acquainted with medical professionals, visiting sports doctors, physios and chiropractors as he began to understand the injury was more complex then simply a hamstring injury.
A CT scan picked up that his legs were different lengths – both his right femur and tibia are shorter than his left, with a difference of about 1.5cm between legs. Since the seat was too high, McCoy was over extending his right leg each stroke.
Innersoles and having his cleats at different positions have been the key to fixing his form on the bike, and extensive work in the gym strengthened his hamstring.
Insights help long term success
"It takes an injury like that to realise how precious your body is. Now I stretch for close to an hour every day. It's about doing all of those little things where you can get your 1% gains. It all adds up."
"If this hadn't have happened then I would have never known that I had leg length differences and I would be missing out on all of these marginal gains for years to come."
This injury period has been a defining moment for McCoy as it has allowed him to renew his commitment to the sport and a career as a cyclist.
"I learnt that before my injury that I probably wasn't going towards it at 100%. It has taken that injury to make me realise that I love the sport and I want to give it a full crack. I'm going to train myself to death now to see what happens."
Return to racing
Despite spending a couple of months just riding easy on the flat to keep his base fitness, McCoy's return to racing has
been promising. He won the bronze medal in the U23 road race at the NZ Club Championships last month.
A couple of weeks later he was aggressive in the third round of the Benchmark Homes Series when he spent most of the race in a small breakaway.
"The base fitness was good enough to get me a medal at Club Nationals and put my head in the wind at the last Benchmark for a wee bit," he said.
"Since then I have started to get stuck into some really hard training. Things are definitely on the right track and I hope to be pretty competitive by the time I get to Canada so I can help the guys out."
After missing the entire PureBlack BikeNZ U23 European campaign, McCoy will join the team in Canada in early July for three weeks of racing.
He lands in Canada in time for BC Superweek - 10 days of assorted racing with over US$100,000 in cash prizes.
With months off racing, McCoy is itching to test his legs against international competition and help deliver the team to success.