Designer & bike rider in British Columbia, Canada

Cycling Injury Translator

Airborne. by ewwhite, on Flickr. Used with permission.

It can be confusing to follow all the injuries of the professional cyclist. Team press releases and race reports describe our heros as suffering anything from “acute abrasions” in that Tour crash, to “deep contusions” after that training run-in with a car, to reasons why he did 55kph instead of 56kph in that time trial (probably a sinus infection).

Andy Schleck abandons Tour Méditerranéen with respiratory infection
Rabobank rider on antibiotics for respiratory infection
Cavendish recovering from bronchitis at Tour de France

“A medical examination in Maastricht after the race showed ‘a strong contusion at the left femoral biceps muscle’.” Translation: “Rodriguez has a big leg bruise.

But now there’s a cheat sheet for translating the lingo of cyclist injuries for the layman. So the next time you’re not feeling 100 per cent, remember: it’s not a cold, it’s an “acute respiratory infection.”

Cycling injury translator

  • Viral infection = cold
  • Upper respiratory tract infection = cold
  • Acute respiratory infection = cold
  • Sinus infection = cold
  • Acute Bronchitis = cold
  • Hematoma = bruise
  • Acute tissue trauma = bruise / cut
  • Blunt trauma = bruise
  • Subcutaneous hematoma = bruise
  • Contusion = Bruise
  • Deep abrasions = road rash






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