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”My dream is to get back to racing and regain my level but since the Tour de France will start from Chantilly, close to my home, it would be nice to be there.  We must take it step by step."




13.11.2015 @ 09:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Four months after his terrible crash in the third stage of the Tour de France, William Bonnet is still working hard on his recovery and rehabilitation but his moral is still high. He hopes to resume training on the road at the beginning of December.


”I am fine,” he told his FDJ team in an interview on their website. “I am much better. The rehabilitation goes well. I wore a corset for two month. I had to wear a neck brace for a month but I removed it after 2 or 3 weeks. 

“In my everyday life, I still feel stiff, especially when I turn my head. The amplitude has not really been reduced but we need to reduce the consequences because I have lost musculature. The most difficult is to turn the head.  I still hear crackling noises but that will be the case for the rest of my life. It will always remind me of this crash.

”I also broke the scaphoid but it was nothing important.”

Bonnet is now back in training.


“I quickly returned to ​​the home trainer after I returned from the hospital and then I made a break as you always do at the end of the season. I did not do anything for three weeks. I returned two days ago. I worked on ​​the home trainer and did some walking. I do rehabilitation with strength training. I can also swim and run. 

”From the start I trusted the surgeon. He is the only master. At each appointment I get an update and the program for the next month. In my mind, I wanted to return to training on the road on November 15 but I will have to wait until the beginning of December. Safety first. I have to do some tests to check the strength of the vertebrae. A plaque was inserted to connect the two fractured vertebrae and I will have this plate for the rest of life. When I start training again, I'll see how it goes. First I will do 3 hours, 4 hours, then 5 hours. Inevitably, I think that will have to learn how to maintain the same position for several hours.”


Many riders find it mentally hard to return to the peloton after a major crash but Bonnet does not expect to have that kind of issue.


“I do not think I will dream about it at night. I have seen the images after my accident but it won’t disturb me,” he said.


Bonnet will not be present at the first team gathering from November 18 to 20.


“I am off work until the beginning of December and my teammates are going to do extra-sports activities that I cannot do. It's impossible for me to take the slightest risk.”

It is still too early to predict when Bonnet will be back in competitive action.


“I want to reach a good condition before thinking about the races,” he said. “I already know that I will not compete in the cobbled classics because the risks are too big. All day you have to keep your position to be there in the finale. You have to be 100% and for me 2016 will be about avoiding accidents. Arnaud Démare knows that I will not be at his side.”

Bonnet’s crash was one of many in a crash-marred season-


”I often discuss the reasons,” he said. “I think there is a greater lack of respect in the peloton between the riders. I have been told that when the helmet became mandatory, riders were no longer afraid of anything and took more risks. There is more speed and less security. People do not keep a safety margin of one metre, now it’s but 50 centimeters.  After the briefing in the morning, we all know the times when we must be in position and we all have our memos to remember. There’s street furniture, the road is not made ​​for cyclists. It is about the equipment. When I crashed, we were going at a high speed and it takes time to brake. Some say that disc brakes will be a solution but it's not a good idea. It will be even more dangerous for the riders. And if anyone does not have the same braking system, there will be a lot of damage.”


Bonnet has always had the full support of his FDJ team.

“That evening, at the hospital, Marc Madiot told me not to worry, that I would have a contract. He reassured me but he did not have to do that because I know the FDJ team never let people down,” he said.

”My dream is to get back to racing and regain my level but since the Tour de France will start from Chantilly, close to my home, it would be nice to be there.  We must take it step by step. I do not know how I will be when I return to the peloton. I cannot predict what my place will be and whether I will have an apprehension when we have to brake hard. Today I really want to say that there will be no problem but in reality I do not know.”



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