BDC Mag – Racing Bike

Dr. Mitum Bracic, A 45-year-old sports physician with a PhD in Psychotherapy, and Director of the Institute Global Sports Clinic Ljubljana, Slovenia. In an interview with a Slovenian siteTalk about a famous patient of his: Primoz Roglicand the physical problems he has suffered recently, which gives a very accurate picture of his condition.

Roglic contacted Bracic, on the advice of an acquaintance, Primo Siren, a former professional cyclist, after this year’s Tour of the Basque Country, where he was unable to defend the previous year’s title due to knee pain. Roglic announced at the end of the race that he was penalized with pain in the back of the knee that crippled him throughout the race (finally won by Daniel Martinez of Ineos) who ended up finishing eighth, and that”He was searching for the cause“.

However, Bracic says in the interview that Roglic came to him with “some assumptions that were completely wrong”, and that until then he had “never been subjected to any in-depth examination”. According to him, Jumbo-Visma advised Roglic to take painkillers and that’s it.

In the Slovenian clinic, Roglic was examined first with an ultrasound and then with an MRI that revealed an Achilles tendon injury. According to Bracic:

Then we started working for several hours a day. This is not a traditional natural remedy, but it does involve working out for five or six hours a day. We must know that, despite the rehabilitation, an outstanding athlete cannot miss training. So we adapted him so that he would still ride, but only at a certain intensity there was no risk that his injury would get worse or recur. Therefore, in spite of everything, he was able to maintain the basic form of cycling. In April Primož received our newest high frequency laser, the best laser currently on the market, and now also using it at home, so he continued the treatment even after his return to racing. I taught him to use the laser even in case of pain or inflammation, by irradiating his lower back, which often hurts when sitting in the saddle.“.

Roglic then got back into the race by winning the Criterium du Dauphiné, a classic prep race for the Tour de France. But on the French major lap Roglic suffered another injury, falling during the fifth stage:

This year’s injury was much worse than last year’s tour. An injury last year made it impossible for him to ride, which he was allowed to do this year, but the pain was really great. Primo ran with this injury for another week“.

Then the Slovenian retired in the fifteenth stage. After withdrawal Primoz returned from Brači for treatment again:

He had two cracked vertebrae, two fractures, but we had a bigger problem with inflamed soft tissue, tissue sticking to the vertebrae. Also because Primož continued to pedal even after a fall. Then we regenerated his tissues in a couple of days, and we got rid of the pain and inflammation. We have given him another high quality high frequency electrotherapy device which is used for very deep tissue treatment. So Primož continued these treatments even when he returned to training“.

To continue training and treating himself at home, Roglic bought one of these devices, which are the size of a suitcase, but are expensive, Bracic explains:

A high-quality laser in the higher price range costs about 40 thousand euros, but personally I think that a high-level athlete cannot do without it. Every physical therapist should have one of these lasers. Especially for deep tissue problems“.

It had been 44 days since the crash at the start of Volta, a very limited amount of time to recover from such an injury, but Roglic was determined to try, says the Slovenian doctor:

In this case, I left the decision up to him. Personally, I was more inclined to interrupt the season, take some time to fully recover it, do a specific “reset” and a long-term rehabilitation of the whole body, as it has another problem. Damage to the shoulder joint is also not completely repaired. He was also suffering from the spine problems mentioned above, as well as a few other little things. However, Primo decided to take part in the Volta anyway, as it meant a lot to him to win for the fourth time in a row. So far he’s doing very well at the Tour de Spain, I’d say surprisingly well given what he’s been through this season. He was very seriously injured. Even if he doesn’t win and at least get on the podium, it would be a huge success. It should be known that Primo was pretty exhausted from last season. First the Tour, where he crashed so hard, then the Olympic Champion, where he was totally exhausted, and then the World Championships…so what he’s doing this year is very, very good.“.

So far so good. However, Bracic also makes some considerations regarding the injury to Roglic in the fifth stage of the tour and how it was managed:

“That day with Primož there was a lot of attention to his shoulder joint, which I was not worried about. However, they kept some information under wraps at the time, Primo did not tell me during the race that he had problems with his back, that he fell so hard that he He hit his back. Everyone was silent at that moment. I think they remained silent because it was a tactic for Primo team to help Jonas Vinggaard beat Tadig Bogar. Only when they finished the eleventh stage, where Vingegaard had a big lead, was it clear that Primož had made his work. But history repeated itself when the club said injury was nothing, and that he should only have taken a pill.
Only when Primo underwent an MRI in Monte Carlo on his own initiative and sent me a picture, did we realize that the injury was not minor.

to question. “But did the club’s doctor suggest he only take one pill?” Braci’s responses:

Yes, club doctors sometimes forget the Hippocratic Oath while they are prisoners of work. They work for the club, not the patient or the athlete. Unfortunately“.

According to Brači, Roglic Tour’s injury got worse as he continued to race:

I think so. However, as far as I know, Primož always wants to get to the end. He continued the tour at his request, so that they could achieve team success. He wasn’t part of that success, because the team forgot about it, but still…Definitely, I’d rather see Roglic win (turns -ndr-)… hopefully this will happen one day.
The truth is that Primo sacrificed himself for the team’s goal in the Tour and there are quite a few such athletes. Most of them are selfish and selfish, but Primo is nowhere near these descriptions. Sometimes it is very good for the environment. If he was more selfish he would probably have been more successful, but he wouldn’t be primo anymore“.