FEATURE: Williams' road to recoveryMon 27 Aug 2018
25-year-old Georgia Williams has had a whirlwind of a season, starting off strongly winning the New Zealand road race and time trial championships and silver medal at the Commonwealth Games before suffering a heavy training crash which caused her to be sidelined for two important months in the middle of the season.
Williams' injuries were significant with her left side taking all the impact in the fall which fractured her hip, pubis and sacrum. This left her unable to put any weight on her left leg for three weeks, not what any cyclist wants to ever be told.
The injury occurred just 10 days before Mitchelton-SCOTT's biggest goal of the season, the Giro-Rosa and despite her disappointment, watching her team win the race whilst picking up six stage wins along the way, Williams remained motivated to return to full fitness and racing.
After two months out, Williams will make her return to racing with the team tomorrow at the Boels Ladies Tour, a race where she will debut her new national championship custom SCOTT road bike.
"My recovery has been good, the first two weeks on the couch was hard doing nothing but I just had to be patient," explained Williams. "I got the all clear to get out on the road a week earlier than expected which was nice and after three weeks I was able to swim with a pull buoy between my legs."
"I would do one to two kilometres in the pool four times a week and this helped me hold on to a little bit of my fitness. On the fourth week I was able to get on the home trainer. Then on the fifth week I was out on the road for one to two hours a day just super easy with only a little pain."
The six-day UCI Women's WorldTour race begins with a lung busting three kilometre prologue which will be a tough welcome back to racing for the Kiwi, but after a month of hard training, Williams is eager to pin a number on once again with goals to end the 2018 season off well.
"Seven weeks post crash I was back following a proper training program with longer rides and efforts," Williams continued. "My training has been mainly focused on making the Worlds TTT team for Mitchelton-SCOTT."
"My training has been going really good, I’ve had a solid four weeks of training and I feel like I’m getting fitter and stronger every week. My next race will be the Boels Ladies Tour and I’m really looking forward to getting a solid week of racing in my legs and helping the girls where I can. It will be a good personal test to see where I’m at."
With any injury the recovery process and time can be fairly unpredictable. As one of the key players in the squad, Williams had been clearly missed within the team and Mitchelton-SCOTT staff and riders have been counting down the days to see her return.
"Mitchelton-SCOTT have been great in supporting me in my recovery and I’ve had no pressure to get back to racing. I'm ready and excited to get back into it now," Williams said.
Along with racing the Boels Ladies Tour this week, the rider from Auckland has also been selected to represent New Zealand at the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck in September. With the hilly nature of the course, Williams will make a final decision to compete based on her fitness leading into the event.
Photo courtesy of Kramon.