News: Hannah Mayho Back on the Bike

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Hannah Mayho Back on the Bike

Story posted August 11; by Larry Hickmott

Earlier this year in Belgium, five British riders, including three riders from the GB Olympic Academy Programme, were involved in a collision with a car while training in Belgium. Hannah Mayho, Lucy Martin, Katie Colclough, Emma Trott and Sarah Reynolds were out on a ride between Brakel and Oudenaarde when the accident took place.

Hannah Mayho alongside Olympic champion Nicole Cooke before the accident for Hannah and Lucy Martin (left). Photo: CJ Farquharson/PhotoSport International

The worst injured was Hannah Mayho, who came into direct contact with the vehicle and broke her leg and wrist in the accident and has since embarked on a long road to getting back on her bike. While the riders she was training with have since got back to racing, for Hannah, only now has she had the all clear to start riding her bike on the road.

At last week’s Preston City Centre Races, Hannah was there to watch her training partner and fellow academy rider, Becky James, race in the Women’s Circuit Race Championship. British Cycling took the opportunity to talk to Hannah about where she was in her recovery cycle. “Last week I got the all clear from the specialist to get back on the road again and to ride with resistance on the turbo and treadmill” Hannah explained.

Before then, I’d just been doing rehab which consisted of  physio with the EIS’s Phil Burt and then riding on the turbo for 35 minutes but with no resistance. I’ve also done some swimming and various others bits of rehab. Until then, I’d not been able to put much weight on my bad leg.

The next step in her recovery programme from the accident is an eight week plan of between 100 to 120 hours on the bike which will be done on the road, treadmill and turbo.

Hannah in action during a race in Belgium this year. Photo: CJ Farquharson/PhotoSport International

Like most riders who suffer a serious accident on the road, when Hannah got back on her road bike and ventured out onto the streets of Manchester, she found it a little scary but bit by bit, her confidence is coming back and she is becoming more relaxed on the bike. The young lady has certainly come a long way since the accident in early May.

Hannah and her British teammates and friends were simply out on a routine training ride when, as Hannah explained, all of a sudden out of nowhere, there was a car and it hit her. “I knew then it was like no other crash I'd had. I tried to move but I had a shearing pain. I looked at my leg and knew it was broken” she says.

It was an hour before the ambulances arrived and with so many riders involved, chaos ensued as Hannah, still conscious but in serious pain, started to take in the seriousness of what had happened as well as realising she was the most severely injured.

Hannah spent the first 10 days after the accident in a Belgian hospital before returning to Britain. It was three weeks Hannah says before she turned her legs around again but even that was a struggle. “I was literally lifted onto a bike and Phil Burt helped me turn the pedals round so I wasn’t putting any pressure on the leg but getting the circular motion back. It wasn’t training but rather rehab for the mobility of my knee and joints.

Having been the most seriously injured, Hannah has remained separated from her teammates based in Belgium and she admits that she has missed them! “They are not just teammates but friends as well and since I went full time last year in June, I’ve trained with them, raced with them and lived with them.

I did get to see them when they came back for the road nationals and then when they had a break, they came up and stayed with me for a while. It was good see them in a casual environment as friends rather than in a cycling environment. I still keep in contact with them through Skype and Facebook. I don’t only miss them though but everything about the cycling. Racing, training and having that focus.

Hannah (right) with her GB teammates earlier this year, L-R, Nicole Cooke, Lucy Martin, Emma Trott and Katie Colclough. Photo: CJ Farquharson/PhotoSport International

The accident came during a preparation phase for Hannah on the road where she was racing with Olympic champion Nicole Cooke and her role was to help Nicole in the road races the academy took part in. Hannah had only one race left on the road before she was to return to Manchester for a track training block. That move back to Manchester though came a lot later and under very different circumstances as she recently moved into the academy flats and started her rehab programme.

It was good to move back up to Manchester and feel like I was part of the whole set up again. I am sharing with Anna Blyth who is out in Belgium at the moment and now I’m able to ride on the road, I’ve been out for a few rides with Becky (James) and Paul Manning. The first few times I went out, I wanted to go out with some others just to feel a bit safer.

I know I’ll be going out on my own soon and just getting on with it. It is scary though but I need to get on so I can do the training that is being set out for me. I have also been working with Dave Readle and Steve Peters and understanding why I feel nervous on the road and ways to over come that.

With Hannah now back on the bike, her next goal is to get fit but admits she doesn’t know when she will be racing again. “Once I have done this eight week block, I’ll have a base fitness and then move on and start taking part in the team pursuiting again. One thing I am quite keen to do is to do a run out (individual pursuit) over 3,000 metres or something so I can set myself a target. But first, I need to get the next eight weeks out of the way to see what sort of shape I am in.” 

Hannah’s long term goal is to continue to progress on the track as well as compete on the road and British Cycling would like to wish her all the best on the long road back to racing again for her country.