Rider Diary: Sue Clarke Part 7


Rider Diary: Sue Clarke
Interview with Sue Clarke - Brand New Sue
- July 2009

Racing cross country and representing Great Britain since 1994 when she rode as a Junior in the World Mountain Bike Championships, Sue Clarke has been British Champion, competed in the Commonwealth Games and is now making a return to top level racing with help from husband and XC racing legend, Barrie Clarke. To find out all about Sue read her feature-length interview, and get the latest from her comeback right here.


November 18 2009

From hero to zero...

What a week this has been. Following a fall from my road bike (at speed) leading up to the Cyclo Cross National Trophy event at Mallory Park, it seems in some eyes the above statement was true. Luckily for me I know this is not true!

I had been looking forward to getting stuck into the Mallory course, as I have had a few good results at this venue in past years. I narrowly missed the win last year, but did win here in 2005. However, luck was not on my side and I struggled to make it to the start line, carrying a substantial injury to my lower back. It was obvious in the first lap to myself and those 'in the know' that something was seriously wrong. I made the tough call mid race of pulling the plug. Something I never like to do and something that happens to me so rarely I cannot actually remember when the last time was.

A quiet car journey back up north followed, but then it was time to take some positive action. By Monday morning I could not even get my socks on, let alone swing my leg over a bike. I sought out the services of my highly experienced Osteopath Shaun Anderson, who worked on me and manipulated me until I thought I would have to be collected on a stretcher :0)

This morning things have greatly improved and I hope to be back on track very soon. This period of rest and recovery has left me with some spare time to sit and think about this sport of ours. How fickle it sometimes is. I (like most professional athletes) have sacrificed so much for such a huge chunk of my life. Finally, you start to reach goals you have set for yourself, you start to fulfil childhood dreams. Along the way you have to overcome some massive obstacles such as injury, illness, the list goes on. But something inside you keeps battling on. What is that something? I do not have a name for it, but I only know I have it. Once you start to reach the top of the pile, it seems you are the easy target for others to start pulling to pieces. How cruel life can sometimes be! A little respect for the work gone into a hugely disciplined life would not go amiss.

My thanks as always go out to my ever loyal support crew. You know who you are... It's when the chips are down that you get to find out who your true friends are.

Until next time,