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Injury Update with Adrien Dailly

Jun 15, 2022
by Matt Wragg  
Race Winner Martin Maes goes bottoms up with Jesse Melamed and Adrien Dailly

After standing on the podium last year, Adrien Dailly was surely amongst the big favourites coming into this year's Tweed Valley race. Fate had other plans and he managed to finish just one stage before an unlucky crash left him out of the race with a broken toe. After a few years heavily impacted by injury, he does not want to be sitting on the sidelines, so as his team headed towards Petzen, he was with his mechanic, Craig Miller, with a couple of pairs of shoes, a 3D printer and a dremel...

What happened at Tweed Valley?

I had a big crash and I broke my big toe. It's not so bad, I could have dislocated my shoulder again, so not so bad...

What is actually broken and can you ride with it?

I broke the first phalange - I had it pinned as the bone was quite displaced. It was not straight and it was on the articulation, so it should heal better with the pin. I'm going to try today, I rode my road bike with flat pedals and modified running shoes, and I'm going to try to ride today.

One week post-surgery
Can you spot the difference?

What is are you trying to do today?

Dimitri Tordo has bigger feet than me, and the same shoe sponsor - Five Ten - so he has given me a couple of pairs of shoes to try and adapt so I can race. I'm normally a 41 and he's a 43, so even with the plaster cast on my toe, I can fit my foot in. The problem is the cleat position, with the bigger shoe I can't get it where I like it, so one foot feels weird compared to the other. So now we're looking at trying to move the cleat back further. It is more complicated because the pin is right in the end of my toe, so I also need to protect my big toe from impacts. Walking around I have cut the toe off a pair of running shoes, which works well, but there is not enough protection to ride like that.

What has Craig printed for you?

If we can get a shoe set up, he has 3D printed toe protectors that I should be able to slip inside my shoe.

Say you can ride, would an injury like that or do you think you can still get to 100%?

No, for sure it's going to slow me down. If I can ride it would be a success as I'm not supposed to ride [laughs].

How does your mindset change coming into a weekend carrying something like that.

I did the maximum to make my toe feel better - I'd be super happy just to be there and race.

Most normal people would stay at home and let it heal.

Yeah, for me, I would too normally, but it's different, it's a toe - it's not that important. It's only shoes. If it was bad, like an elbow or another big injury I would stay at home. I feel like you need to work twice as hard when you're injured as after it is twice as hard to be as fast.

Trying to move the cleat further back to match his other foot.
3D printed toe protectors

You don't want to lose speed.

Yes, but it's also physical. I have been working on everything - my shoulder, my core strength and a lot of road biking because if you do nothing, you are going to lose everything. Plus the confidence to get back. So if I can get stronger, but less confident, then hopefully it should be about the same. It could be a good balance.

I'd never thought about the losing speed thing much before, but we all see that when riders come back mid-season.

Yeah, you miss the speed, you miss the confidence, so you're for sure slower. And if you miss the physical condition too, it's going to be really hard to get back up to speed. When I broke my elbow, I really stopped and started to enjoy my summer partying and everything [laughs]. To get back, it was... you fix first the bone and your body, but it takes longer to heal. Then you have to get back up to speed. So I think you have to work harder when you have an injury.

I had never thought of that in that way before.

Me neither!

You had to learn the hard way? You were super patient with your elbow.

It was really long and I thought I did the best I could do, but the surgery was not the best, then my summer was not the best with all the partying to heal the bone. It was not the best. But I did enjoy my summer, which I never got to do.

What is the plan for the rest of the season, will you be racing more World Cup DH?

I'm not sure with the next tracks, Lenzerheide, Andorra with a new track, I'm not sure I'm going to enjoy them.

There's a new track in Vallnord?

Yeah, the start is now the finish, it's going to be flatter, it won't be in the trees and there will be more berms and artificial stuff.

Author Info:
mattwragg avatar

Member since Oct 29, 2006
754 articles

  • 9 0
 ". . . then my summer was not the best with all the partying to heal the bone."

Coolest. Frenchman. Ever.

He is, comment dit-on? - equal parts Andrew W.K. and Tony Hawk.
  • 2 0
 Hmmmm, not sure, heard that Asterix and Obelix were damn cool, 3 Musketeers were also cool as feck :-)
  • 6 0
 "it's a toe - it's not that important.". It shouldn't take much sense for someone to realize how wrong this is, especially when it's the big toe.
  • 2 2
 It's not important when on the bike. That's another story when bailing or pushing
  • 1 0
 @ghost-shifter: or walking,or running,or...
  • 3 0
 I shattered my big toe in 5 places in June 2021. It was just the final bone, and none were very displaced, so I didn’t need any surgery or pins like him.

I was back on the bike in mid August. And back to normal by the beginning of Sept.

I also had 2 broken ribs (clipped a pedal at speed, toe sandwiched between immovable root that caught my toe and the pedal, threw me into a tree at 15-20mph).

Oddly, the toe was barely noticeable “most” of the time (in comparison to the ribs). But there were surprise times I’d be caught off balance, and you never noticed before how your toes clench when that happens. And riding flats I noticed that same sensation causing some pain on my first few rides back over rougher sections. But I wonder if the pin will prevent that sensation for him.

Heal up quick!
  • 3 0
 Hope he will be able to ride and not damage it further. Also, please don't make andorra boring, the steep course was so fun to watch
  • 4 0
 feet are so cringe, I dont even use them... get better pinkbike
  • 4 0
 That big toe is super important. Your balance is based on that big toe
  • 1 0
 I love the spirit of ingenuity with the cleat thing. It's amazing what people will try to do the sport they love.
  • 1 0
 Do you mean really mean Tweedlove, or the EWS at Innerleithen?
  • 2 0
 just rest it dude
  • 1 0
 He just needs it taped up enough to kick some ass.
  • 1 0
 Regina Phalange
  • 1 3
 It’s only a toe?
  • 4 0
 Only a toe...currently at eight weeks off the bike for me after a crushing injury cut off blood flow to some toes, thankfully not the big toe. Worst injury and longest recovery ever. Missing a toe will be a sure conversation starter at the beach, though.
  • 6 0
 "Hell I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock."

  • 2 0
 @Spindelatron: with nail polish?
  • 2 0
 Toes can be pretty bad. I broke my pinky toes a few years back. I couldn't get my work boots on for almost a month. Hahaha worked construction in closed toe birkenstocks till I could where my boots again. Not ideal
  • 1 0
 Toe not toes. I just remembered that technically it was on a bike. I had a broken giant reign frame leaning against the wall, and some how hit it hard enough to break my toe
  • 1 0
 For the record I was quoting him with skepticism. But forgot the quote marks. He’s the one that said it was only a toe. I say just let it heal. Toes are pretty important in my experience.

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