Peloton Watch
  Oscar Stevenson overcomes injury plagued season to win Tour of Bright  
  December 13th 2014  
  2014 has been a mixed year for promising under 23 rider Oscar Stevenson. A knee injury kept him away from his best in the first half of the year. Despite the knee injury Stevenson still managed to finish 10th in the under 23 time trial at the Australian National Championships. The following month he found the podium in the under 23 time trial at Oceania’s and sixth in the road race.

A crash at the Tour of the Murray River resulted in several weeks off the hike when Stevenson was diagnosed with a fractured pelvis. Despite the injury impacted season Stevenson returned to the Tour of Bright in last weekend from start to finish after claiming the opening time trial.

While Stevenson’s strength against the clock set up the win, his ability to climb and keep pace with riders including two time winner Matt Clark sealed the overall victory. With the knee injury behind him and a confidence boost Stevenson has set his sights on the under time trial at the National Championships in early January.

PelotonWatch: You have had a bit of back luck with crashes and illness in 2014 how would you describe your year?

Oscar Stevenson: 2014 has been a massive year of learning for me, learning to deal with setbacks and then being able to come back from them stronger and more motivated than before. Another lesson I have learnt this year is how important patience with an injury is, there is no point coming back too early and setting yourself back further than where you were previously. The first half of my year was plagued with a knee injury which compromised my preparation for Nationals and Oceania’s where I performed surprisingly well give the circumstances placing third in the U23 TT. Following Oceania’s we decided I backed off my training in order to sort out me knee. I was starting to feel like my old self again in July just in time for my crash and resulting fractured pelvis. It has been a very tough year but I am happy I've been able to resurrect the end of my season with a win at Bright. The lessons I learnt this year will stick with me throughout my career and carry through into my day to day life.

PW: 2014 saw you step up to the u23 ranks with a top 10 at the national time trial championships happy with you first race as an under 23?

OS: My preparation for Nationals was not as smooth as I had planned due to the issue I was having with my knee but all things considering I was fairly content with my nationals although with a more ideal prep I would have been looking for a placing further up the list. I was happy with my performance in the u23 road race although my placing does not reflect how I was feeling. I was happy to still feel strong after 130km although tactically I could have rode the race better. It was a big learning curve coming out of u19's to be racing guys with a few years more experience and training in their legs.

PW: A crash at the Tour of the Murray River saw you diagnosed with a fractured pelvis how long were you off the bike for?

OS: After crashing at the Tour of the Murray it was a bit of a whirlwind situation. Initially when I went to hospital I had X-rays on nearly every part of my body and nothing was found, they sent me home with some stitches in my elbow and my chin. Four days later I was feeling a bit less stiff and sore so decided to go for a short ride, all seemed ok. I was still feeling best up but out that down to the bruising from the crash. A week after my crash I went to the doctor at the Victorian Institute of Sport to have my stitches taken out who suggested I have further scans on my pelvis. Two hours later and an MRI and CT Scan confirmed there was a fracture.

After we realised that my pelvis was fractured initially myself and the doctors and physios at the VIS decided to take just under two weeks off in the hope this would improve the rate of healing. After two weeks it felt as though it was getting better so I got back onto the bike and started doing 1-1.5 hours easy every second day. As it improved this turned into every day. After about six weeks it started to rapidly improve so we made the call to try and step up my training, turns out I wasn't ready and I ended up in more pain than I was. Most of the issues I had after around six weeks where with my hip joint and surrounding muscles rather than the bone itself due to the fracture being right inside my right hip joint. Two weeks off the bike after this and a lot of physio treatment and rehab work and I was back on the bike again and given the all clear to train from then. All in all it was around eight weeks until I could begin to train properly.

PW: You wore the leaders jersey at the Tour of Bright from start to finish after winning the opening time trial. Ahead of the race what were you expecting?

OS: I knew my form was coming back looking at my data from my training in the weeks before but wasn't expecting to be in such good form at the tour to be honest. The Victorian Institute of a Sport had a training camp based in Bright the week before the tour so we came in fairly fatigued which made the win even more enjoyable as we where not fresh as we would be for other races. I was hoping to match my top 5 overall from 2013 and to podium in the time trial.

PW: What does winning the Tour of Bright mean to you?

OS: Winning the Tour of Bright was an awesome way to end a very difficult and disrupted year. It was massive for me to be able to be back in good form and was a huge confidence boost coming into the U23 nationals and the 2015 season. I have always looked at Bright as a race to win but did not think it would come so soon!

PW: Very strong against the clock and you can also climb well, how would you describe yourself as a rider?

OS: I would describe myself as a time trialist and also a climber. My climbing has improved inline with my time trialing recently and is something that I will look to continue to work on into the future as I think it is quite suited to my physique and physiology.

PW: Besides the result what else can you take away from your performance heading in to 2015?

OS: The results at Bright where only half of the package, Bright provided me with a confidence boost coming off a disrupted year and heading into a new season as I proved to myself that I can be competitive at that level not only in TTs but also on the climbs.

PW: What are you targeting in 2015?

OS: The immediate target for me now is the U23 national time trial and then I will focus on the Oceania titles and the National Road Series and hopefully some overseas racing. I would also love to have a more consistent season hopefully without injuries.
 © 2016