IT is often an over-used cliche, but it is one that Lauren Kitchen can relate to over the last month – sometimes you’ve just got to get back on the bike.
The 27-year-old has had a mixed start to her 2018 cycling campaign so far.
After claiming a few positive results to start the year, things went pear-shaped for Kitchen when she crashed out of the Amstel Gold Race on April 15.
The result was a broken arm that required surgery which has also kept her out of action for the last four weeks.
“I spent three days in hospital in Maastricht to recover,” Kitchen said.
“It is now four weeks since the crash and I’m back into full training, probably a little early, but looking after my recovery and trying to keep the level up.”
Kitchen said the crash in the Netherlands followed another mishap in the cobbled classics three weeks before that.
It is now four weeks since the crash and I’m back into full training, probably a little early, but looking after my recovery and trying to keep the level up.Lauren Kitchen
“[On that occasion] I broke my bike into four pieces on March 22,” she said.
The end result was a few cuts and abrasions, but no broken bones.
“I was lucky not to break anything but it took a toll and the next few races I simply rode as a good team mate as my body recovered,” Kitchen said.
“This made me sad as my first goals were in this period but I simply didn’t have the level to compete with the best after crashing so hard.”
In February, Kitchen was in Belgium ready to ride with her team in the first classic race of the season, but on the morning of the race she was unable to start due to a fever.
Five days later she “did come good to be able to start” in Le Samyn in Belgium.
“I managed to finish in third place and claim my first European podium in over two years,” Kitchen said.
“I was satisfied with this result after being sick but I was disappointed not to get the win, because it felt a bit like a missed chance.”
However, it hasn’t all been doom and gloom for the Port Macquarie product since the start of the season.
She claimed a second-place finish at the national road race in January before a sixth place in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing but I have had some nice results so far this year which shows I’m on the right track.Lauren Kitchen
After a few bumps along the way, Kitchen hopes to return to competition in May 25 and 26 in two French one day races.
She is then aiming to returning to world tour events three weeks later in Britain in June.
Sometimes it isn’t how many times you fall off, but how often you get back on the bike.
“It hasn’t been smooth sailing but I have had some nice results so far this year which shows I’m on the right track,” Kitchen said.
“My goal this year is to get a big win for my team after the hard work I’ve put in and the great support they have given me, particularly during my injury rehab time the past month.
“So far my season has been mixed, I have had some reasonable results, maybe not when I expected them, but I have missed the results or performances when I was chasing them.”