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"In short, I prepare the best way to be ready for a race like the Giro and for the second half of the season. Perhaps I may be back even earlier if I work hard. It all depends on how I respond. I do not want to rush anything. ...

Photo: Sirotti






23.01.2015 @ 21:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Sergio Luis Henao is in Mallorca under the Balearic sunshine and can now see the light of a very dark tunnel. His goal is to regain strength in his right knee after he broke the kneecap last June at the Tour of Switzerland. And he is on track. "We've come a long way and we are getting back to the top," says the Colombian who has received "unconditional" support of Team Sky.


Giuseppe Acquadro, his agent , shows his admiration for Henao due to his perseverance and the way he has worked on his rehabilitation: "I am very happy with Sergio Luis’ recovery. After the hard crash last year, he has been exceptional. I want to emphasize that he is a hard worker and has an incredible professionalism. That is one of his strengths. I'm sure that he will demonstrate that he can win big races. In this difficult period, his girlfriend Carolina who is a physiotherapist, has been very close to him and has been instrumental for his recovery,” he told Biciciclismo.


Henao arrived in Spain on January 5 after several months of rehabilitation at home. And he could not have better news after a final arthroscopy in Pamplona: his knee has developed favorably. The news is undoubtedly great, but is not the end of the road. "We are in the final stretch" he says. He even begins to think about pinning on a race number at the Giro d’Italia or even earlier. “I do not want to force things,” he says.


“A few days ago, I went to Pamplona to have an arthroscopy of the knee, the last step in this process. The result was excellent. The doctors were very happy with the consolidation of the bone and cartilage, and the team too,” Henao told Biciclismo.” This motivates me. You always have fears and doubts because you are dedicated, but I was confident in my rehabilitation. Now we are all more relaxed.


“It is a long process and I have had patience. In Colombia I worked morning and afternoon and saw changes very slowly, but I've always worked long term and have achieved the first goal. Something is still missing, but we are in the final stretch. Now, I train in Mallorca, one, two, three hours, alone or with teammates. I do work in the gym ... In fact I started to train in Colombia in November, three hours, rode up climbs and made good sessions. I had to stop due to the arthroscopy andsurgery, and now in Mallorca I have resumed training. Obviously, I go without intensity, a few hours, because I have to let the knee back to normal.

“I am very happy and grateful to the team. They have behaved very well. Their support has been unconditional and they have always been outstanding. I have had a great reception and this gives me great joy.


“Now I get more strength in the muscle to avoid complications in the knee which will allow me to start training slowly. Logically, I will be behind because I have not been riding at the highest level for six or seven. The crash happened on June 20 when I collided with a vehicle when inspecting the course for the time trial of the Tour of Switzerland. The start is always hard and slow and brings some inconvenience but I have trained and strengthened the leg. And I am starting to look at a possible return to competition.


“Now I see the light of the tunnel. In fact, it means a lot to me to again feel the wind on the bike because the blow was considerable. The important thing is that I have come a long way and I am getting back to the top.


“I have a lot of anxiety and desire to compete again but I know that I will have to pay for it if I do the wrong things. The team asks me to strengthen my leg and my whole body calmly. In short, I prepare the best way to be ready for a race like the Giro and for the second half of the season. Perhaps I may be back even earlier if I work hard. It all depends on how I respond. I do not want to rush anything. I just want to do well and then the right time will come.”


Henao is confident that Sky will have a good 2015 season.


“They are doing well and training hard, having the goal to fight for the best races in the world. They know that the previous year was perhaps not the best, but they realize that they have good riders and a team that can work hard. The atmosphere is always good, regardless of the result. I feel envy of not being able to do what they do, to train with the same intensity and the same force, to be one hundred percent with the team. I think that time will come, it is important not to lose the moral.”


Henao has also had the chance to watch the progress of his cousin Sebastian.


“2014 was a year in which he learned much,” he said. “This year, he more integrated, more adapted to the kind of racing in Europe. I think he will take another step, being aware that he is very young and has much to learn.”


Finally, Henao also reserved a few rods for his compatriot, sprint sensation Fernando Gaviria.


“Fernando is a great rider, I know him because he lives in my region,” he said. “He is a guy with many qualities and he has an excellent future. I think that he is already ready to make the jump to Europe. It would be another step for Colombian cycling to have a rider who can win sprints. In Colombia there is quality in all colors.”



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