BMC rider Peter Stetina’s recovery from a multitude of serious injuries suffered at the Tour of the Basque Country is one of the most remarkable stories in the cycling world this year.
And the American has capped his swift comeback by signing for Trek Factory Racing next year, proving in recent weeks that he’s not ‘damaged goods’ and earning a new contract.
Stetina suffered fractures of his right tibia, patella and five ribs in a crash on the first stage of the Basque Tour in April but recovered in just four months to make his comeback at August’s Tour of Utah.
“I’m stoked about this,” Stetina said. “It’s a good move for me, I think. Because of my injury my position on the transfer market was a bit different. Teams don’t want “damaged goods”, you know.
“But Luca (Guercilena) has been in close contact with me all along the recovery. He was very supportive.”
Guercilena, Trek’s general manager, envisions his new signing leading the team at the American and Canadian stage races, as well as supporting fellow new recruit Ryder Hesjedal, who he helped to Giro d’Italia victory in 2012 while racing for Garmin-Sharp.
“Peter has been through a rough time these past months,” Guercilena said. “We want to give him the opportunity to come back to the highest level of racing and show his capacity. We want to support him to reach his best possible level.”
As well as having the opportunity to lead the team in stage races, Stetina says he is looking forward to improving his time trialling with Trek, feeling that his skills in the discipline have stalled since turning pro.
“I was twice the U23 National Champion and sixth at the World Championships,” he added.
“Since I turned pro I haven’t really progressed in that area and it’s awesome to see someone like Bauke Mollema not only defend his overall position since he joined Trek, but even move up in the GC, instead of losing places. I’m convinced Trek can help me improve my TT position and become a better time trialist”