Feature: Easy does it — Andrew Magnier

Node4-Giordana-Subaru rider, Andrew Magnier, a 23 year old University graduate from near Leek, is battling to resurrect his racing career

Jim Golden writes … As he lay in pain on the rough tracks which make up much of the course of the Tour of the Dengie Marshes almost a year ago, cyclist Andrew Magnier, could scarcely have thought that his fledging professional career might be at an end.

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Andrew has a new fan! During the photo shoot with Andy Jones, this lady and her husband came along to see if the bikes had bells on them … while her husband quizzed Phil Griffths on that, his wife got close to Andy in his lycra…

But ever since, the 23 year old university graduate from Bradnop near Leek has been battling to resurrect his racing career. Next month Andrew, a member of Phil Griffiths’ latest squad Node 4 Giordana Subaru, will have the metal plate out of his shattered elbow.

Even then he will have to wait for the screw holes to repair before he can take his first tentative pedal revs to get back into the world of competitive cycling. Andrew, who works for Griffiths’ Yellow cycle import organisation in Stone, rode several events later in the 2011 season as the then Motorpoint team were short of numbers. But while he had kept himself reasonably fit, he was not ready for the cut and thrust of pro racing, and knew that a crash could have serious consequences for the rest of his life never mind as a professional rider.

Later this year however, he hopes to be back in the colours of the team he helps to keep on the road as one of his jobs at Yellow. But he is keenly aware that he dare not risk another fall. It was while riding for Cycle Premier in 2010 where he scored a third place in a town centre race in York that he impressed Node 4’s manager Malcolm Elliott, who finished the Tour de France in 1987 and was the points winner in the Tour of Spain and came back to race again and win in his late 40’s and into his 50’s.

As he busied himself sorting out the riders with clothing and arranging accommodation for upcoming races at the Node 4 launch at Trentham Gardens, Andrew said: “Yes it has been a frustrating year for me but I have learned to be patient. When I crashed in Essex, I lay on the course for sometime before I was taken to hospital. I also broke my collar bone that is fine now. But it has been my elbow.”

On the bike for the camera but racing is a little way off yet.

“I came off and damaged it again as I just wanted to rush back into racing. It was worse when I first broke it because having got the chance to ride for such a big team after my first year with Cycle Premier, I was really, really fit.I just wanted to get back into racing. Now I know that I have to be patient.”

“To be honest, working for Phil and being involved with the team has been a good distraction. I am still able to ride my bike but I have had pain and I am aware of the risks to be long term mobility. Once the pins have been taken out and the holes have healed, I hope to get back into racing. I may ride a few events later in the season if the team need me but I will probably ride some time trials where the risk of falling and damaging myself is unlikely.”

” I am riding with my girlfriend Jo who is an accomplishing mountainbike racer and who wants to try road racing this year. At the moment she is able to give me a bit of a kicking. But with the better weather I am riding to work a couple of times aweek. I regard racing for the team as unfinished business and really want to get back to the level where I am justify a place in the team but I have learned patience and to be honest a full racing comeback will not be realistic until next year.”

“But I am still young and at the moment I am just grateful that Phil has stood by me and working alongside the riders gives me an incentive rather than making me depressed.”


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