Frederic Guesdon (FDJ-BigMat) is on course to race Paris-Roubaix.
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Frenchman returns from broken hip
Few riders have as much experience on the cobbles as Frédéric Guesdon, but the FDJ-BigMat rider is in the midst of his final Classics campaign before bringing the curtain down on his career at Paris-Roubaix, the race where he made his name with a surprise victory in 1997.
40 years old last October, Guesdon revealed at the beginning of the winter that he was to hang up his wheels in April, but a heavy fall at the Tour Down Under in January looked set to deny him the opportunity to ride through hell one last time and take his final bow at the famous old Roubaix velodrome. Lying in hospital in Adelaide shortly after being diagnosed with a fractured hip, Guesdon was all but resigned to ending his career on the other side of the world, far from the rough and tumble of the pavé.
“The first prognosis was a three-month lay-off, and seeing as my season was only ever going to be four months long anyway, it meant that it was effectively all over there and then,” Guesdon told Cyclingnews as he readied himself for last Friday’s E3 Harelbeke.
“But when I got back to France, the doctor told me that it wasn’t as bad as expected and that within a month I’d be able to get back training, bit by bit, and that I could at least get back and race before the end of my career. That was huge for my morale.”
After a month off the bike, Guesdon made a tentative return to the saddle aboard his home trainer before venturing out onto the road. His first competitive outing since his injury was in Belgium at Nokere Koerse ten days ago.
“It started well at Nokere but I found it a bit more difficult at GP Cholet – Pays De Loire,” he said. “That was hard going, but
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