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Road Racing News
Alex Cudlin Defies All Odds With A Double Victory in Qatar


Posted: Thursday, 12th April, 2012 : 10:16 AM - - 2,893 Reads




Taree motorcycle sensation, Alex Cudlin, has just completed what was thought to be an impossible feat on the weekend; not only racing in the Qatar International Road Racing Championship, after seriously dislocating his elbow, tearing two tendons and being forced to wear a cast that seriously restricted it's use, but also winning two from two races.

Just 7 days prior to the race, Alex had a fall whilst out jogging and badly dislocated his right elbow, requiring doctors to operate under a general anaesthetic to relocate the elbow. In the process of dislocating the elbow, Alex also tore two tendons.


X-Rays show the damage to Alex Cudlin's elbow days before the race meeting
 
After the surgery, doctors told Alex that it would beat least 3 months before he could race a bike again, because of the arm strength required to do so. Alex was then placed in a fixed cast to help keep the elbow bent at 90 degrees, in order for the elbow to recover and heal correctly.

However, just 2 days after the surgery, Alex decided to remove the cast and started working his arm, in the hope of getting enough movement back to ride in the upcoming Qatar Championships and the Bol'Dor 24 Hour World Endurance Championships, which were being held only a week or two away respectively.

Alex was treated in Qatar in one of the world's best Physiotherapy units called "Aspire", where he, alongside Doctors Matteo Regusci and Francia Schwaltz began the difficult task of preparing for the race. A special hinged cast was made for him, allowing him minimal movement of the elbow, but stopping the elbow from straightening out.

"Honestly when I was lying on the ground after the fall, with my arm bent the wrong way, I thought the race season would be over for me. I was on the side of the road in a lot of pain. I made a sling out of my camelback that I was wearing and got myself to the hospital. Doctors couldn't relocate the elbow successfully in the doctors rooms, so I was put under a general and they relocated it 4 hours after the dislocation had taken place. When I woke up and saw the size of my arm, I wasn't at all confident that I would be able to race any time soon. However, I thought that if I could just move my arm and start building it up sooner rather then later, I might have a fighting chance to ride."

Alex arrived at the track on Thursday to the surprise of many his competitors, and mounted the bike for first practice. Riding with his arm restricted to almost zero movement, Alex went out and stunned the crowd by topping the time sheets in the first practice.

Just 5 laps into practice, Alex pitted and decided that he had done enough riding to test his arm, hoping to reserve what remained of his strength for the qualifying sessions.

Qualifying got under way and Alex again jumped to the top of time sheets in the 1st qualifying session but eventually qualified in 2nd position.

Qualifying was one thing, but racing in two fast 15 lap races the next day would be another thing entirely. Alex was in a lot of pain after qualifying, and decided he would make the decision whether or not to actually race the morning of the race, after he had time to rest overnight.

Race day came around, and despite the massive amount of swelling and bruising from his previous day's efforts, Alex decided to block out the pain and take to the grid to compete in the first race.

The race got underway and Alex quickly slotted into 2ndplace behind Former Moto2 Grand Prix rider, Mashel Al Niami. Alex then decided on lap 3 to make his pass and try and gap Al Niami. Alex proved his strength by posting a series of fast laps that were too strong for Al Niami to contend with, eventually winning the race by 9.8 seconds.

"I can't believe what I just did" Cudlin said as he jumped off the bike. "I still wasn't sure if I would even ride this morning. The pain level was really high, but I want to win this championship if I can and it's rides like these, under severe circumstances, that make it all worthwhile in the end."

Alex iced his arm and relaxed until Race two got under way. Once again it was a battle with Al Niami, but Alex had a point to prove. Alex sat behind Mashel, preserving his energy until 4 laps from the end, and then he made his move, crossing the line once more in first place.

"It's an amazing feeling to achieve this. Under brakes a few times, I honestly thought the elbow might pop back out again, which was a risk. The stress on the arms under brakes is extreme, so I'm pretty pleased with what I accomplished today. The pain was a constant throughout the whole race, but I kept telling myself that I could do it. I have to thank my team QMMF for helping me get to "Aspire" and also the fantastic Doctors at that facility who helped me tremendously. The past week has been stressful, so to come away with this result is incredible" said Cudlin.


Cudlin now sits second in the Qatar Championship after riding with a severely damaged elbow
 
Alex now sits 2nd in the Championship, just 7points behind Al Niami. Alex missed the first 4 races of the season due to other commitments, so to stage this coupe to out-ride Al Niami is a testament to his drive to win.

Alex will now have just 5 days to rest before he heads to France for the First round of the World Endurance Championships in the Bol Dor24 hour. Alex is hoping he can block out the pain there to achieve another good result in what is arguably the toughest endurance race in the World.


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