PEDERSEN: I DON'T FEEL OLDER THAN 30
Triple world champion Nicki Pedersen says his latest injury setback won’t slow him down and admitted “I don’t feel older than 30”.
The Danish icon turns 40 on April 2, but is determined to bounce back from the neck and arm injuries which ended his 2016 season at the Golden Helmet in Pardubice on September 18.
Pedersen, who lifted the European Championship in Rybnik the night before, says he’s well on track to be fit for the new season in the spring.
"This latest crash was a very hard one, but with my body and the way I am living, I don’t feel older than 30."
- Nicki Pedersen
And while a number of riders slow down as they enter their 40s, the Odense-born ace insists he’s still fit enough and hungry enough to keep chasing World Championship No.4.
He said: “This latest crash was a very hard one, but with my body and the way I am living, I don’t feel older than 30. After this injury, I am already back where I should be a couple of months before the season starts.
“As long as I can enjoy it and make a few quid here and there, then I am going to continue. But I have to stay away from injuries. If you keep getting injuries, you can’t get up to the rostrum and it’s not really fun. I want to have fun as well. I want to enjoy my life."
Asked how long he'll continue racing, he replied: “Whether it’s two years or four years, you never know. Look at Greg (Hancock). He’s still going at 46. If you’re 50, you’re enjoying it and you’re hungry, then you can continue.
“Greg has won his last three titles since turning 39. Anything is possible as long as you’re looking towards yourself in the mirror.”
Even Pedersen’s season-ending Czech tumble wasn’t enough to convince the Monaco-based star to call it a day.
He said: “I have taken a lot of impacts over the years and this was one of the worst. But straight after the crash when I was lying in hospital, I wasn’t nervous. I just wanted to make sure I could move my whole body.
“I never doubted anything or thought that was it. I just wanted to rehabilitate my injuries, get things back to normal fitness-wise and get back on the bike as soon as the body was ready.”
Pedersen insists his injuries haven’t interrupted his winter training regime. He said: “I’m out of pain with everything. The basic fitness is there. I don’t seem to have any problems with the neck, arm or shoulder.
“When you’ve been resting something like this for four months, then you obviously have to get back to fitness. But doing that is not causing any problems with the neck or arm.
“It seems I can do anything I want to do to get back to normal, and that was the main thing. I’m not having headaches or pain in the back. That’s really good. That was the main thing; I could really start to exercise hard to get back to fitness again.
“I got injured two months before the season finished and in mid-December, they took my neck brace off. That meant I hadn’t done anything for four months, but the basic fitness was there in December. While I was on holiday, I started doing a few small things and from January 2, it has been flat-out as much as possible.
“Nothing has caused me problems. It’s not going backwards; it’s only going forwards. There are a few kilos I have to lose, but everything is going as it should do.”
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