Dave Smith was not expected to survive into 2015. We recently reported on his recovery from an enormous operation on his spine and recovery fuelled by a high nutrient vegan diet.
Last weekend the paralympic gold medallist competed in Italy in a World Cup race in Maniago, Italy. The ime Trial route is 26.6km and along closed roads with spectators close in on the route.
“I guess the hardest thing was stepping out of my comfort zone of rehab cycling and into the world of racing when I knew my body was not 100% ready to race at that level” David told us rafterwards.
“The heat was close to 38 degrees and I found that hard, but the hardest thing was taken my body into that pain of racing for 42min with my heart rate at 180bpm.”
Many are shocked that less than a year after surgery which was expected to prevent David cycling again, he was competing at such a high level – representing Great Britain.
“Racing before surgery I had much more power in my legs and went lots faster, this made Italy hard work mentally as I could not get out the effort I wanted to in my mind. My body is only 8 months from surgery now.”
Unsurprisingly for an athlete who has used nutrition to his advantage, David’s diet included strategic use of food.
“The preparation was trying to get comfortable on race bike and was eating lots of fruits, hydration is key in these heats so lots of water with some Himalayan salts in water bottle. Also using Vega sports products for recovery.”
David finished 16th which he recognises as an enormous achievement, although he also has some dissatisfaction with. This is clearly an athlete who is aiming to return to the top.
“Next is to get back to training, no more world cups, this was just to go out and see how far off I was, so it’s back to gym, roads and some hard miles to find the power I need to make the Podium.”