Jip van den Bos intended to race the time trial at the Dutch National Road Championships on Wednesday. Instead the 21-year-olds spent the day at home on the couch, recovering from surgery to repair six fractures sustained in her right arm during a training crash on Monday.
“The day that I crashed I was really sad that it happened,” sad Van den Bos. “It was right before Nationals. I was feeling good, in good shape. It’s still really shit that it happened, but I’m focused on the healing. I can’t do anything over, so I need to deal with it and move on.
“I’m still very motivated,” Van den Bos added. “I’ll take my time to recover in a good way. I hope to be back strong in the end of the season.”
The accident occurred on Monday as Van den Bos trained on her Specialized Shiv. She was in the time trial position on a big, straight street when she hit a metal pole.
“I still don’t know how that happened,” she said.
The street was empty, and Van den Bos immediately experienced an immense amount of pain.
“There was nobody around, and I knew I needed help,” she said. “I started screaming and screaming and screaming. It didn’t take too long for people to come find me.”
“My arm was really big and really swollen right away,” she added. “It was strange. I knew it was broken, but I didn’t know where. At first I thought it was my wrist, but I also had pain in the upper part of my arm. I couldn’t tell where it was.”
Van den Bos travelled by ambulance to the nearest hospital. There she learned she had broken her arm in both bones.
“The first bone was in five pieces, although the x-ray showed only three pieces, and the other one broke once, so two pieces,” she explained. “This is definitely the worst injury I've had.”
The bone had pierced her skin, so surgery was required the same day to minimise the risk of infection.
“I think that makes it sound worse than it was,” Van den Bos admitted. “I couldn’t see the bone coming out because it was on the back of my arm.”
“They also gave me something before they put me in the ambulance, and I think from that moment, it took the pain away,” she added. “I remember a lot of pain at first and then not much after the first minutes. The people at the hospital said I was in a bit of shock.”
Van den Bos had two plates inserted into her arm during surgery.
“Before the surgery, they thought the bone was in three pieces, but when they opened me up, it was in five pieces,” Van den Bos explained. “It took a lot more time than they thought, but they said it was good in the end.”
“With the plates in my arm, normally I would have a brace, but because I also broke one of my fingers, the finger joint, because of that, they gave me a cast,” she added. “They don’t want me using my finger.”
Van den Bos will remain in the cast for at least the next 10 days. She has a follow-up appointment late next week and hopes to be given the clearance to train indoors at that appointment.
“They say before everything is really healed, it will take six weeks,” Van den Bos said. “Maybe in 10 days already, I’ll start training on the home trainer, but not use my arm of course. I hope that’s how it will go.