After a difficult start to 2018, Adrien Dailly looked like he was back on form by round 3 in Olargues as he pushed Richie Rude every step of the way. Yet only days later, on the notoriously unforgiving trails around Peille, the home of his mentor, Nico Vouilloz, he took a bad fall, breaking his elbow. That left him on the sidelines for the rest of the year. We stopped by his home in Nice, France to see how he is recovering and what his plans are for 2019.
Can you give us an update on your elbow?
Yes. After four months and a half, my bone is still not fixed. So, I'm going to stop riding the mountain bike, the BMX, and a bit of my weight training. I'll just focus on fixing my bone, and that's it. I'm going to wait and see if that works, or not. That means I cannot start really training until February now. I need to let the bone heal, I have two pins in my arm and with them in my tricep is not good, I can't really contract the muscle, so I also need to have them removed before I can come back to racing. It's going to take a long time.
A break there can be a career-ender, can't it?
Yeah, it's worse than a normal fracture, it takes a long time to heal, but it's going well. I'm good. I'm not going to be ready for the start of the season, but for sure I'll be good by the end of the season.
So just road bikes for now?
Yeah, I even had to stop weight training for my upper body. Road bike, running and... actually, that's it.
Do you know if you will be there at the start line in New Zealand then?
I think I'm going to ride, I'm going to race, but I can't say if I will be ready or not. I don't really know when I will be ready to get back to 100%.
Is it harder for you to be out injured, knowing you are the only racer Lapierre has? Is there more pressure to get back to racing?
I think so, yeah. It's tough to be alone for Lapierre. Well, we have Chloe [Gallean] too, but she injured her knee about the same time I got hurt, neither of us raced again after Olargues, so yeah, it's tough, but it's part of the risk of racing and they understand that, they've been great.
Are there any changes to your programme for 2019?
Very similar to last year, I will keep going with Lapierre, with SRAM and Michelin, and every sponsor from this year.
Will Nico Vouilloz still be part of your programme and how does he help you?
For sure Nico will be with me again, he's like a second father to me. He helps with my bike, when I was injured he helped me with the doctors, with advice about what I need to do, he helps me with my motivation.
One final question - Lapierre have a new, 29 Spicy coming, will we see you on bigger wheels next year?
Yes, the new bike can do both sizes though, so I can have 29 or 27.5. We're going to do some testing, then I can choose. It's cool, to have both. I haven't chosen yet. Me, I'm small, so maybe riding 27.5 is better for me as it's easy, but we'll see with 29.