Welcome back to the Bike Breaks pro rider corner!

Here we have Orica-Scott, Australian professional rider Luke Durbridge share some great advice on how to best deal with and overcome an injury.

Unfortunately, injury is a big part of sport and cycling in particular. Crashing, overuse, fatigue…there are so many causes and sometimes the recovery period can be a real challenge.

Luke has been a professional since 2012 and at the young age of 25, he has already successfully completed three Tour de France’s and has a string of World and National titles to his name. Throughout his cycling career, he has been well known for his individual & team time trial strengths and his big engine. Hence the nickname, ‘Turbo-Durbo’! Over the past few seasons he has taken a significant step up in the spring classics and this spring in particular, where he had a list of impressive results. To name a few; a win in the De Panne ITT, 3rd in the Hammer Sportzone Limburg – General Classification,  4th at Dwars door Vlaanderen, 6th atStrade Bianche and a commendable 12th at the Ronde Van Vlaanderen.

Luke was well prepared and all set to tackle his fourth Tour de France last week in Dusseldorf, when unfortunately things took a turn for the worst and he crashed heavily throughout the opening prologue. On wet roads, he went leg first at full speed into the barriers and for all those viewing, it was pretty clear there had to be some damage. Luke was able to admirably tough it out to finish the stage, unsure of what the prognosis was and whether or not he would be able to continue.

The team doctors and physiotherapists did their best to treat Luke’s ankle overnight and hope for the best the following day. Although severely swollen, Luke started stage 2, unable to give up on his fourth TDF dream just yet.

Unfortunately, the damage had been done and as the stage went on he was unable to put pressure on his ankle and with instruction from the team doctor he was forced to abandon. We understand how tough this decision must have been, however long term a wise one.

Luke is now back in Girona recovering and since arriving home has had surgery on his ankle to assist with ligament and tendon damage. He is now on the road to recovery, roaming around Girona with his crutches and moon boot! As he has a bit of down time, we asked his for some advice on how to best deal with an injury.

Thank you Luke and all the best with your recovery. We hope you will be back on two wheels sooner rather than later 🙂


  • Know what you are in for. How serious is your injury and what is the predicted recovery time? There is no such thing as asking too many questions, and don’t settle for simple responses! Your GP may only be able to give you so much information depending on the injury type so do some research and find out who can help further. For my current ankle injury, I needed more than just a simple ‘3 weeks, no walking’. So as soon as possible I got researching and now have multiple sources in Girona sharing advice and aiding my rehab to ensure I come out of this injury as safely and progressively as I can. Rest is often best, however these days there is so much more science to injury and recovery and I like to think I make the most of this.


  • Mentally prepare. Once you have this information and you know what you are in for, it is time to mentally prepare yourself. Be prepared for rest and rehab and accept it and that you won’t be living your normal athlete or everyday life until you are through this. If you don’t accept your injury, the long terms effects can be damaging and that 3 weeks off could turn into 6 weeks or more. Patience is a virtue!


  • Set realistic goals. To assist with this, set yourself a weekly plan or a list of goals to tick off each week. I.e. what do I want to achieve this week? This will help you to be realistic and patient and avoid taking on too much too soon.


  • Visualisation. For me visualising my recovery and where I want to be is important. Throughout my cycling career, during any injury period I have found that taking ten minutes out of each day to meditate and visualise my healthy self, injury-free really helps. Now, I am taking the time to imagine myself walking comfortably!


  • Distractions. Focus your energy on other things to help avoid constantly thinking about the injury. Keeping yourself busy with new hobbies is a great way to do so. For me, I’m using this downtime to challenge myself in other areas like learning Spanish, exploring nutrition and trying new things in the kitchen.


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