PezCycling News - What's Cool In Road Cycling : Magnus Maximus – Good Fortune On The Rise?

Magnus Maximus – Good Fortune On The Rise?
Our man Magnus Backstedt has had a rough go of it for quite awhile now, and as this diary begins things still aren't even close to smooth - but the finale brings a definite positive outlook for the coming months for Big Maggy - and the hope of big form for his beloved Paris-Roubaix.

Hello again, New season and unfortunately for me more problems. Well, it’s still the shoulder I smashed last year that is still playing up.

To take you back to what went on at the end of last year. I had a pretty bad crash on the track, funnily enough on Friday the 13th, that ended up with a 5th degree separated shoulder. This means that I basically haven’t got any ligaments left in the shoulder and the shoulder joint dropped by a couple of cm. I then went on to have surgery on it and got a hook plate built in to my shoulder to hold things in place. The operation went well, but after it came some unforeseen problems. I got a frozen shoulder as a result of the impact and the operation. This is a very painful state to be in. You haven’t got any movement in your arm. Even to get your hand up to your head to do the hair in the morning is a major thing (luckily I don’t have to do that with my hairdo).

When I was finally starting to feel like I would be able to put up with the discomfort and jump on my bike the next hit came. I went to check out a mole on my chest that had changed a bit in shape and colour. The doctor didn’t think it was anything to worry about, but he decided to remove it anyway. Operation 2 in 2 months even if this one was a minor surgery I still had to go under the knife. Then a couple of days after New Year they called me with the test results of the mole and I got a bit of a shock when they told me it was a bad tempered mole. Malignant melanoma! Skin Cancer. I was then booked in for a surgery to remove more skin around the area where the mole had been. They took out a piece that was 10cm long and 5cm high. That was operation 3 in 3 months. Luckily the tests from the last bit of skin came back all clear and it hadn’t spread anywhere else. PHEW!

Backstedt watches the Liquigas mechanics working on one of the team's new Cannondale System Six's.

I then had 10 days to recover from that operation before I got back on the bike. When I finally got back on I had a pretty steep ramp up. I went down to see the team at the training camp in Cecina Italy and spent 2 days with them. This was the first time I was on the bike on the road and we are now talking 20th of January. After the team presentation I had just about a week at home and managed to do 2-3 hours a day on the bike, so I decided to head out on a training camp on my own with my young Swedish protйgй Freddy Johansson. We went down to Majorca for 2 weeks of training. The first week down there I racked up 28 hours and they were pretty hard core as well. I do realise that this isn’t the ideal way to do things. No trainer in the world would tell you to make a jump from 10 hours one week and 28 the next, but I was recovering so well after every ride and I had my guru trainer Steve Benton keeping a close eye on my recovery and physical stress factors. Without him there I wouldn’t even consider doing a thing like that.

The second week we dropped down a bit in amount of hours, but increased the intensity a lot. Then Freddy went home and I hooked up with the team to try and do a couple of days of the Majorca Challenge. I only managed to do 2 days as my shoulder was too painful and I have yet to be able to stand up and sprint or make any type of more violent acceleration. So as you can probably imagine it made me work so much harder having to sit down and do all the jumps. The funny thing was that I seemed to be able to cope with the race speed after only 3 weeks of riding, which made it even more frustrating that I had so much pain in the shoulder that I couldn’t continue racing.

Maggy gazes through his new ride for a team photo.

I then had a chat with the team bosses and doctors and we decided for me to go home and have another check on my shoulder to see if we could do anything to improve the range of motion and take away the amount of pain that I was in. I have to tell you that I have not had 5 minutes pain free since the crash in October. So after seeing the doctor and he was happy to take my hook plate out and manipulate my frozen shoulder under general anaesthetics we decided to go ahead with the operation.

This is where I am now, sitting in the hospital waiting to have the operation done. I should be on the table in about an hour.

Hopefully things go well and I can get on the bike shortly, the doctor has told me I should be on the bike in about a week’s time and with a lot more range of motion in my shoulder so I can finally get back in to the position where I need to be. Up till now I have been riding around with a stem 3cm shorter then normal. Not the ideal situation!

Talk to you soon


PS. I’m now out of the hospital after surgery. Things went really well! The surgeon managed to manipulate my shoulder and got my arm to reach over my head.

Glad that wasn't in me...which is probably why Maggy is so glad to have it out of himself.

I am right now possibly the happiest person alive, when I woke up after the operation I had about 50% less pain then when I went in, this is after quite a major operation. I know that there might still be a bit of pain killers in there, but still it’s a big improvement already. I couldn’t keep my tears back when I started moving around and it was feeling so much better. I cried like a kid!

All the pain I have had to push myself through during the last 4 months just came out then.

I want to thank all the people who have backed me up during these last couple of months, a time that has been more than stressful for me in so many ways. Firstly my wife who has tirelessly stood by me and at some points had to look after me like I was the 3rd child in the house, of course my main man who has become more of a brother to me Martin McCrossan and my second brother Freddy Johansson. Of course my trainer Steve Benton who has worked so hard in keeping me on the bike as much as possible and always has been absolutely spot on with everything. Without these people I reckon I would be a right mess right now. Thanks guys!!! You have no idea how much I value everything you do for me!


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