Interview: Myriam Nicole Spent Most of the Race Season on Crutches
Myriam Nicole won World Championships as a Junior and has won medals in the Elite field multiple times, but had never pulled on the rainbow jersey as an Elite until today. After a serious foot injury in April had her off the bike for four months, it seemed unlikely that this would be the year she would finally win World Championships. Against all odds, starting with over a dozen riders still to go, she lay down a time that couldn’t be beat. She finished just over a second ahead of Tahnee Seagrave, who was also coming back from an injury of her own. Myriam Nicole’s French teammate Marine Cabirou rounded out the podium with the bronze medal. I caught up with her immediately after the event.
Has the win set in yet?
I still can’t believe I won. That wasn’t the plan after these last six months of bad, bad, bad times. With the team, with the coach, everyone made it to do a good comeback. We didn’t have pressure, I just wanted to be back on my bike and feel good.
So this was your first big race in a year after injuring your foot in April. How did you make such a strong comeback to become World Champion?
Finally, after all this work, I was a bit pissed off on training every day. I didn’t want to go to the gym anymore. I was like ‘I just want to race’. So I was just so happy to be on my bike. So I think everything went well because I was so happy to be back. You know, during the season, sometimes you’re like ‘I don’t want to see my bike anymore’ but not right now. I love it so much and I want to ride so much.
What kind of physio have you been doing?
At first, I had two months of crutches, so I was not allowed to put my foot on the floor. Two months is really long. Then I had another surgery in June. After that surgery, I went to an athletes rehab center in France and we did things like learning how to walk again. Saying that I feel like I’ve forgotten where I’ve come from. It was two months ago I was learning how to walk.
When did you first get back on your bike?
The 5th of August.
Two weeks ago at Crankworx, you didn’t do those finish line jumps. And you didn’t do them here either. Why was that?
There are two reasons. I have had many crashes on jumps so I’m not confident to do these. It’s not like I had a lot of time on my bike so I don’t have the confidence. The second reason is I’m scared to case it and hit my foot again. That would be quite bad. On the bike, I don’t feel it, but right now it’s painful. I can’t wait to put some ice on it. I didn’t do them as well today, that was the plan. I knew that I lost because of that, well I had made my choice. But I didn’t want to go to the rehab center again.
Why do you think the French team is so dominant?
The sport is getting more professional and we’re doing the right job. Me and Loic have the same coaches so I think we’re doing good work. There is such a good atmosphere and everyone is pushing.