Aaron Schooler, the Canadian rider with Focus CX in Germany, had a difficult December. “After the last couple World Cups in Belgium, I ended up getting a fairly large infection in my leg when I crashed multiple times on my knee,” he said. “Even though I had a nurse taking care of me, the repetitive racing in bad conditions led to it getting worse. So I had to go on a course of antibiotics for a week and my coach thought it best that I not ride during the medication. It meant a week off the bike. It wasn’t a good time at all to take that week off the bike, but after heading home for the New Year and a re-structuring of the race schedule, I decided not to race for the first couple weeks of January to better prepare for the worlds campaign.
While the break was difficult, it got Schooler over his injury and ready for Sunday’s race, Cyclocross International de Nommay in France. His result, 20th, has lifted his post-injury spirits. “Last week, I had some good quality intervals, which told me I was back on the right track. I had a couple bobbles in the race, but Nommay is always just a mud fest and tractor-pull type race. The course was no different from the five or some years I’ve done it as a World Cup before this. Doesn’t matter if it’s sunny or raining, the course is always the same with deep sticky mud. In those conditions, it helps a lot to be able to change the bike every half lap, but it was taking quite a bit of time to wash the bikes with all the mud that was on them. I only have two bikes right now. By worlds, my team will build me up a third for cases like this, just to be on the safe side.
“The mud on the course was so slippery that I ran 17 psi on the front and 19 in the back for the race: the lowest I ever go.”
Next up for Schooler is the final World Cup race of the season in Hoogerheide. He’s also going to line up for the world championships in Tabor, Czech Republic from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. The Edmonton native has been living in Germany for more than year. The cyclocrosser is enjoying the advantages that come with being based in Tübingen, about 40 km south of Stuttgart. “It’s really cool being based in Europe because I can go to a race like Nommay and be at home eating my own food and sleeping in my own bed that night,” he said. “It’s a much more comfortable arrangement.”
— Joseph Haas (@josephhaas22) January 18, 2015
— Aaron Schooler (@aschooler6) January 18, 2015