Bobby & Jens: Michael Valgren raced Strade Bianche … Gran Fondo
The Dane is back from a devastating injury and ready to start racing again.
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He’s one of the best single-day racers of this generation, but a crash last summer changed the directory of his career. Now well on the road to recovery, Michael Valgren joins Bobby & Jens this week, fitting in the discussion between his full time gigs of returning to his previous form and taking care of his kids.
Carrying too much speed into a corner on a breakaway, he careened over a barrier and suffered a broken pelvis and a bashed knee. It took multiple months in a cast before he could even begin to get back to moving. Complications with his knee would keep him out of commission for several months more, taking the total to six before he rode a bike again.
“It was super tough times, that’s for sure,” Valgren says.
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He couldn’t have made it back without his family, and especially his wife who had to help him even put on underwear. All this happened with the backdrop of his wife being pregnant and taking care of their son who had been hit by a car. Valgren’s parents had both been recently diagnosed with cancer as well.
But after all that, he’s on the bike once more, even doing intervals. The time away wasn’t all lost however. He learned even more about the value of real rest days — not just going for a light ride.
He walks us through his next steps, including returning as part of his EF team’s continental level squad, letting him return at an easier level to get his form back. His first race is only a matter of weeks away. But in the meantime, he walks us through his best day on the bike, and the races he wants to win.
And did you know he worked at the same fish factory as Jonas Vingegaard? Valgren grew up in the same area as the now-Tour de France champion, who it turns out wasn’t always such a promising prospect.
And as a final note, what was Valgren doing racing the Strade Bianche Gran Fondo? Find out in the full episode!