Steamboat Springs Wrapping toward the end of the first lap at the Philly Cycling Classic on Sunday, Amy Charity could hear bikes to her left screeching against pavement.
Because she was on the right, she figured she would get through unscathed. But she got hit from the side, flew over her handlebars and landed on her right shoulder.
She and two other teammates from Vanderkitten went down in the crash. As the three got up and hopped on their bikes to finish the first 12-mile lap in the circuit race, Charity knew something was wrong.
“I couldn’t steer, and I couldn’t lift my arm. I had zero function with my right arm,” Charity said.
The diagnosis was a separation of her acromioclavicular joint and complete tear of the ligament.
Recovery for the injury typically is four to six weeks, but Charity remains optimistic she will be back on her bike competing in July.
Her goal is to competing at the July 16 to 21 BMC Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend, Ore. Since she joined the professional Vanderkitten team, Charity had targeted that race as a spot for a top-10 finish.
“I don’t want to treat the next race as a training,” she said, “Cascade is far too important. I want to do well and get a good result in. I think I’ll be close.”
Sunday’s Philly Classic drew a competitive international field for the USA Cycling sanctioned race.
The women’s field featured 80 of the top American and international competitors. The course was five 12-mile laps highlighted by a finish of each lap at the top of the iconic Manayunk Wall.
Because it was a one-day race, action started fast. With a full Vanderkitten team, Charity’s job in the race was to chase down any breakaways.
“The pace started really aggressive, and there were attacks all over,” she said. “One-day races tend to be fiery and aggressive.”
Charity had successfully completed 10 miles of the first lap when the crash took out nearly 20 riders.
She made it to the wall before her teammates and the team director encouraged her to stop.
Charity said she has been rehabbing the shoulder relentlessly. Working with doctors and her coach, she should be able to get on her bike trainer this week. She also will hike to try to maintain her fitness level.
Best-case scenario, she said, is she will be back on her bike at the end of June.
The crash hasn’t done anything to quash her aspirations in professional cycling.
“I’ve worked so hard get to this point,” she said. “I have to keep going. I’ll be ready as soon as it’ll allow.”
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com