After a three-week break, Roger Hammond is back in race action on Tuesday in the Four Days of Dunkirk.
Hammond spent the last 60 kilometres of his last race, Paris-Roubaix, trying to ride his bike as best he could with an injured hand. A crash caused by French rider Rony Matias had left the Briton with a suspected fractured scaphoid.
For the first 10 days after the race his hand was in plaster, although it later emerged that there wasn?t a fracture, as team doctors had first thought. However, three weeks on, his hand is still painful.
?The good news is form-wise I?m doing ok, I just need to polish up the edges a bit.? Hammond told Cycling Weekly on Monday evening from his team hotel.
?I was injured in Roubaix, but I got through the Classics without being sick. So that means my base form is still intact.?
?I stopped riding for six days completely, then gradually got back into it.?
Asked if it was difficult to come back and re-focus after a tough Classics campaign, Hammond admitted that ?at first it?s a relief and you ease up a bit.?
?But my season doesn?t stop after Roubaix. There?s lots of other races I can do well in.?
At Dunkirk last year, Hammond was instrumental in setting up Mark Cavendish for two stage wins. Hammond himself placed third on stage three.
With Cavendish at the Tour of Italy this May, this time in the flattish six-day race the team will be working for sprinter Greg Henderson, who recently won two stages in the Tour of Georgia.
?It?s the usual Four Days of Dunkirk route, with the hilly stage on the Saturday. There?s no time trial though, which is a change. I prefer coming back here to starting racing again in something like the Tour of Catalonia."
?After Dunkirk, I?ve got some one-day races in Philadelphia, then the Ster Elektrotoer stage race and the Nationals.? Later on, the Tour of Denmark and the Tour of Britain are also on Hammond?s program.
?My race condition should start to get really good in the American races.? Hammond says. ?But I?m already in pretty good shape here in Dunkirk.?
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
Going virtual: An 'outdoor' cyclist tries Zwift and indoor riding for the first time
After holding out against it for years, one Cycling Weekly writer finally braves the world of online cycling, with mixed results
By Adam Becket • Published
How I dropped the weight and won a Tour de France time trial
Our new Lifetime Achievement award winner reveals how a move to Nice in the south of France helped lift his career to the next level
By James Shrubsall • Published