Alex Skelton

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

Posted by Alex Skelton on Aug 26, 2011

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

We get lots of updates from elite athletes who are using the Wattbike and we try to post as many as possible up here on the Wattbike blog but sometimes we get one which is, well, just a little bit different. Today is one of those days.

Oli Beckingsale, elite XC mountain biker, crashed a couple of weeks ago in the UCI MTB World Cup in the Czech Republic, we'd heard about it on Oli's Twitter feed first and, injected with a bit of humour, was the sad fact that he was going to be out of action for quite a while.

We'll let him give you the background...


Life, sport and bike racing is a mix of highs and lows. After the high of my 9th place at the European Champs (my best result for 3 yrs) I came crashing down to a massive low only a week later at the sixth round of the World Cup in the Czech Republic.

The race was great with big crowds, well organised and a super tough course, which featured tough steep climbs, technical descents and lots and lots of roots. The Elite men were down for 8 laps and I knew this was going to be one of the most physical races of the year.

I pushed to move up on the start loop and took a few risks, one of which did not pay off as I hit a huge rock taking an off-piste line. The tire did not go completely but went to 10PSI and required a quick CO2 inflation. This meant i came round lap one mid pack in 70th. The legs were good though and by the end of lap 5 I was up to 32nd and going forward.

Then near the end of lap 6 things went wrong in a big way. On a flat rooty part of the course my front wheel slipped out and I went down. It's the type of crash I have had a thousand times but luck was not on my side and I landed with my full weight on my hip onto a large tree root.

I never experienced pain like it as I dragged myself off the track. After a painful trip to hospital and an x-ray it turned out that I have fractured the neck of my femur, in other words I have snapped the ball of my hip joint of my leg!!!

Its a bad injury but I am lucky as there was a complete break but everything stayed in place and the hip did not dislocate. I was operated on that night and they pinned and plated the joint.

My Dad stepped up and flew out on the Monday to help me, which was fantastic, as being on a Czech hospital ward, language issue, dealing with the insurance company and being generally worried would have been far more challenging on my own.

I managed to get home to the UK on Saturday and go to a UK hospital. The consultant was happy with the work they had done in Czech and now I can begin to recover and rehab. Basically this involves 6 weeks on crutches with no weight on the bad leg and then another 6 weeks working up to full weight. I have exercise to do but no riding for 12 weeks!

At least it is almost the end of the season , I have only missed 4 races and like they say if it does not kill you it makes you stronger..

Photos are of me in hospital looking positive and a nice shot of some metal work ( i hope they put titanium in there!)

Thanks for the support


We'd like to wish Oli a speedy recovery from all of the Wattbike community - you can send Oli your own best wishes via Twitter. He"ll be using a Wattbike to aid his recovery once he's allowed to pedal again and we'll be catching up with him via a video blog to see how it's going.

Further Reading:

A chat with Oli Beckingsale


elite, mountain biking, rehab