Fry raring to get going after injury-hit start to season
PUBLISHED: 15:31 31 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:31 31 May 2017
Joe Fry can't wait to get back in the saddle after a frustrating and worrying start to 2017.
The Potters Bar cyclist had a tremendous first year as a professional in 2016, winning the gruelling two-day Tour of the Reservoir, before getting a ride in the Tour de Yorkshire and finishing seventh in the U23 national time-trial.
And after a worrying time over the winter following the demise of his Pedal Heaven team, the 20-year-old got a slot in the newly formed Bike Channel Canyon squad.
His preparations for the new season were cut short when a nagging knee injury forced a spell off the road.
And as he begins his comeback, he explained to the Potters Bar Edition the worries that caused.
“It’s been a recurring thing,” he said. “I was seeing a physio for it but we didn’t know what it was. Sports massages seemed to work but in the long term it never got sorted.
“Then when I was on a training camp in Girona [Spain] it got worse; it just felt awful. I saw a physio out there and he said I’d need an operation. Fortunately I saw another one back here and they said it wasn’t as serious as the Spanish had said.
“The main thing the hospital in London said was that it’s not causing any damage. So if I can handle the pain, I can just get on with it.
“That was the big relief. It means if I get it in a race, as long as it’s not unbearable, I can just push through it.
“It’s just nice to know what is actually wrong with it. After having an issue for so long, it’s nice to have that diagnosis.”
He also said that having former Pedal Heaven boss Tim Elverson as his directeur sportif at Bike Channel has been vital in his mental wellbeing.
He said: “The good thing with Tim is he’s keen on the U23 riders. He’s always had that and he’s always wanted to develop them and I feel like I’m in a good position with him.
“I know he’ll look after me through my U23 years and help me develop which is good.
“I spoke to him a few weeks and he reaffirmed that, which was a big relief. Having not raced I wondered if I’d still be in his thoughts. But he’s understood that and he’s put my mind at ease that he’ll look after me. and allow me to concentrate on my training and racing.
“That’s all I needed.”
He has set his sights on retaining his Tour of the Reservoir title – and hopes that will get him a place in the Tour of Britain.
Prior to his injury-hit season, the 20-year-old had the An Post Ras in Ireland and the U23 British Time-Trial Championship as his main aims.
But he has now moved his focus to later in the year.
“With all the World Tour guys being [at the Nationals] I just don’t think I’ll have that top end speed and stamina needed,” he said.
“We’ve got lots of races in Belgium and on the continent coming up and the Tour of the Reservoir has been moved later in the calendar so I should be there.
“But because I missed the Ras I really want to get in the Tour of Britain and just be there to support the guys, being bottle boy and getting in the breaks.
“It’s not been the perfect start but it’ll be nice to get back especially after seeing the rest of the lads do so well.”