Almost four years ago, Bruno Armirail suffered a serious knee fracture after having been hit by a car while out training ahead of the 2015 season. Having recovered and secured a two-year contract last year with WorldTour outfit Groupama-FDJ, the Frenchman is looking to build on a successful first year with the team, and to put the past behind him.
In January 2015, and about to start his first season with the Equipe Cycliste Armée de Terre – the now defunct French Army-sponsored Continental team – Armirail was training in Liévin, close to Lens, in northern France, when he was hit by a vehicle.
“A car coming in the opposite direction lost control and skidded into me on a corner,” Armirail explained in an interview on the Groupama-FDJ website. “It was going fast, and I suffered a triple fracture of the patella.
“When I returned to riding in late May 2015, I was happy to be back on my bike, but felt as though I had to train hard to try to make up for lost time, which wasn’t the best way to do things. It was my first year at pro level, and I hadn’t even done my first race,” said Armirail.
That first race back was the French national championship road race in June. “I lasted 50 kilometres,” said Armirail, who was the under-23 national time trial champion in 2014.
It wasn’t until late 2016 and early 2017 that he began to feel himself again, having dropped back down to the amateur ranks for the 2017 season.
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