This year the Quebrantahuesos will take place on June 18th, with hundreds of cyclists from around the world taking part. Among them will be Nico del Corral, a rally co-pilot with a special story which he will now explain…
“I will ride in the Quebrantahuesos on the 5th anniversary of the day my life was turned upside down”
This year the Quebrantahuesos race will be held on June 18, with hundreds of cyclists competing from all over the world. Among them will be Nico del Corral, a rally co-driver for whom the date is of special significance, but he can explain that better himself … “My name is Nicolás del Corral, and I’m a former rally co-driver. June 18 will mark five years since my life changed forever.”
It was 2011, at the Suzuki Swift Cup, part of the Spanish Rally Championship, run on asphalt. I was competing in the Ourense Rally, awarding points for the Cup, in which we were the leaders, after winning the Rias Baixas (Vigo). We had a very good time on the first section, but just when we had gone on to the second we had a serious accident. A car ran a stop sign and hit us, head-on. Those were moments of uncertainty and confusion.
“Our driver suffered an open elbow fracture, and I was even worse off, breaking six vertebrae. I almost suffered spinal cord damage, saved by a whisker, though one of my vertebrae was shattered. That day I experienced a completely new kind of pain, one I had never felt before.”
At the hospital in Ourense they took good care of me, but they didn’t dare operate. They eventually transferred me to Barcelona, where they operated on me, surgically joining the vertebrae with osteosynthesis material and rebuilding the damaged vertebra using bone from my hip. Between one thing and the other I spent 25 days laid up in bed. So, when I got up, my legs couldn’t even hold up my weight, I’d lost so much muscle mass. When you spend that long in the hospital you come to appreciate the little things. In fact, when I got out it was raining and I just let the drops of water fall on my skin … that was a wonderful sensation, to feel part of the world. After that the recovery process began.
“I racked up 300 rehabilitation and physical therapy sessions, and regular visits to the orthopedic surgeon who operated on me (today I continue to see him).” After six months the doctor recommended I use a stationary bike. I asked him if I could use a trainer, and he said that that would be even better. I started with the trainer, 30 min every day, combined with rehabilitation sessions. Every two weeks I increased the time, and rode every day of the week, except for one rest day. I combined this with swimming, and things were going great. On a visit to the orthopedist he recommended that I ride a mountain bike, on flat tracks, and to take it easy. I really clung to the bike. It was my savior. I was getting in better shape and I felt stronger.
After a year my back still hurt. The pain was unbearable. The doctor decided to operate on me and replace the osteosynthesis material with artificial bone, as I had a reaction to the material, which was rejected. For this second surgery I was strong and in good shape, so by the second day I was up and out of bed. On the next visit the doctor recommended that I ride a road bike. So, I did three days on the road bike and three on the mountain bike. If I couldn’t get out, I used the trainer.
A few months later I met my ex, and that is when I first found out about Bkool. “I couldn’t believe it!!! After all those boring hours I had spent on my old trainer … with Bkool it was great. I always wanted to do more. Some days I even preferred to use Bkool than to go out.”
A year went by and misfortune crossed my path again: I suffered a thrombosis in the jugular, subclavian, humeral and axillary. We never knew why. “I couldn’t make any physical effort or get any exercise, and I spent six months on heparin.” A year later they let me exercise again, but, of course, by then I had gained weight and was demoralised. My girlfriend helped me a lot back then, and Bkool did too.
Today I go out for rides every day, as I’m training for the Quebrantahuesos, which this year happens to fall on June 18, which will be the 5th anniversary of my accident. Of course, Bkool will be part of my training to take on the Quebrantahuesos, which is a tough challenge. Bkool can be a vital tool in a process of rehabilitation and recovery, as it is no-impact, you’re protected from cold, and you can plan your training sessions. I recommend it, 100%!”