Recovering Trinidad and Tobago cyclist Nicholas Paul is unfazed by the abrupt end to his lucrative 2022 season.
Paul, 24, fractured his collarbone and ribs, and injured his thumb in a crash during a routine training session at the World Cycling Centre in Switzerland on Monday.
“All injuries sustained are not serious, but require rest and recovery,” Paul said.
But doctors advised him to stay off his bike for the rest of the season.
Paul’s injuries rule him out of the October 12-16 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in France and the five-stage November 12-December 3 Track Champions League.
Despite wanting to finish his medal-laden season on a possible high, Paul will use the coming months to reset ahead of yet another hectic pre-Olympic year.
Looking back on the past nine months of top-flight racing, Paul expressed contentment with his results, all of which have propelled him to second place in UCI’s individual men’s sprint and keirin rankings.
“I was really anticipating competing at the World Championships. However, not being able to compete this year isn't really a big setback for me, because my present world ranking is good enough to carry over to next year.
"It’s time now to rest, recover and reset,” he added.
On his possible recovery time, Paul said, “I’m not too sure, but once everything keeps going well it should be (a) short time.”
Paul has already fractured his collarbone this year, in a crash in April in the sprint semi-final of the UCI Nations Cup leg in Scotland. He was unable to compete for ten weeks.
On the sprint rankings, Paul has 2,851 UCI points, while Dutchman Harrie Lavreysen (3,350 pts) leads the list. France’s Sebastien Vigier (2,460 pts) is third, Paul’s training partner Surinamese Jair Tjon En Fa (2,360 pts) fourth and Pole Mateusz Rudyk (2,343 pts) fifth.
On the keirin rankings, Lavreysen (3,105 pts) tops the field, with Paul (2,852pts), Colombian Kevin Quintero (2,473 pts), German Stefan Botticher (2,370pts) and Japanese Kento Yamasaki (2,249 pts) rounding off the top five.
Paul is the world record-holder in the men’s flying 200m (9.1 seconds). For his stellar achievements this year, he was awarded Humming Bird Gold at the National Awards Ceremony on Republic Day.
Paul has won medals at every meet he’s competed in for 2022. After his crash in Scotland, he went on to win sprint and keirin gold on his return meet at the UCI Nations Cup in Cali, Colombia.
There was no stopping the well-rested cyclist as he blasted to gold (keirin), silver (sprint) and bronze (1km time trial) at the Commonwealth Games in the UK.
Days later, he pedalled to triple gold in each event at the Elite Pan American Track Cycling Championships in Peru.
Paul had his eyes set on Worlds and did qualify for the Champions League courtesy his top performances previously.