Thymen Arensman had a slow build up during 2023 as he joined and began to perform at INEOS Grenadiers, but he took a very hard hit at the Vuelta a Espana where he was taken out of the race following a brutal crash. He now returns to racing but is prioritizing his health and 2024 goals.
"Yes, that was not a nice crash, but the recovery went well and I am happy to be racing again at all. It won't be in the best shape, but I'm happy to put on a jersey number and be with the team," Arensman told In de Leiderstrui at the start of Tre Valli Varesine. On the 7th stage of the Vuelta he crashed close to the final sprint, hitting his head and losing consciousness. He suffered a concussion as well as several facial injuries including a broken tooth.
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He returned to racing at the Giro dell'Emilia, which he did not finish, but has also to the start of Tre Valli Varesine today. "This way I can end the season on a somewhat positive note. I have a tooth again, that makes a difference."
"But I still have problems with my teeth every now and then. I will have to visit the dentist regularly to check whether my nerves and teeth are still dying. My teeth have built up, but they still bother me. If it starts to discolour, I will have to get new teeth, so we'll have to wait and see," he explains. "But for now things are going well, the concussion has also been well monitored for the team. I no longer have any complaints, so I can race again, help the team and end on a positive note."
For 2024, he does not yet specific goals, but he hopes to recover fully throughout the winter and return to his best level before choosing. "The positive thing is that I don't remember anything about the crash itself. But of course I worked very hard for the Vuelta and was given a great opportunity by the team to go for the [overall] classification."
"I have invested so much in it and then you suffer such a nasty crash... The first week was difficult, because you are really not allowed to do anything with a concussion. I soon noticed that things were going better, so we could make a plan again. The fact that I have been able to train a bit recently and can already start here makes things better."