Cyril Despres © Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool

Cyril Despres is back in the saddle as he tells us about his trip to Sardinia and his continuing association with the Wings For Life campaign.

After some time off recovering my shoulder with lots of physio I was back in the saddle this week. I raced in Sardinia at the weekend and then on the way home I stopped off in Austria for the Wings For Life party.

Every year on May 1 there is party at the house of Heinz Kinigardner who does so much for the Wings For Life campaign. Last year there were 20,000 people there and this year was also an awesome party. Wings For Life is something I’m passionate about myself, so having the opportunity to meet up with all the guys involved and talk about projects for the future is good fun, and the party isn’t bad either.

Before the trip to Austria I was riding three days in Sardinia and the shoulder was feeling okay. I stayed focused on blocking out the pain and that saw me through to the finish of the event. The event is mostly for amateur riders who like to get out and experience the vibe of rally raid racing. I was there to enjoy myself and ride in a great atmosphere of enthusiasm for Enduro riding.

'I know that I have to be very serious about my recovery'

My next competitive race will come in France in a couple weeks so the trip to Sardinia was a great help to see where am at in my recovery. We went all over the island on the bikes while we were there. The weather was sunny and the scenery was spectacular as it always is in that part of the world. It was fun for me and after speaking to some of the 200 other riders I know they had a good time as well. The route was actually similar to the trails for the Rally of Sardinia so it also counted as good practice for that event which I will race in the end of June.

I hope that all the hours I have spent with the physio since damaging my shoulder are now over. I know that I have to be very serious about my recovery and that means doing everything the doctor says. The only problem is that the exercises are so repetitive and this can get very boring very quickly. Luckily now I’m nearly back to full recovery but I still need to work hard in the gym to get my fitness back to where it needs to be. After riding in Sardinia the shoulder was feeling fine but the muscles all over my body were so tight because I’ve not been able to do my normal training routine recently.

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