Having started his enduro career on an amazing high out in South America, Lewis Buchanan was sitting in 9th overall after the opening two rounds… After that high came a plummeting low. A crash whilst training at home left him with a compound fracture of his left ulna. (a bone in the wrist)

It’s obviously still early days, but since last sitting down with Lewis his recovery time has rocketed from 6 weeks to a mammoth 6-12 months, meaning it looks like he’ll miss the remainder of the season. We will be following Lew on his road to recovery as he strives to get back on two wheels as quick as possible. First, it’s time to come to terms with the injury:

Lewis Buchanan Injury Update Shot 1

It was basically just has a bit of a silly moment, crashed, and missed a little stream crossing during a training ride. Yeah, it all came pretty fast. It was a massive over the bars and in the process I hit my elbow on a rock, I wasn’t aware at the time how serious it was but I kind of knew straight away when I couldn’t straighten my elbow that I guess I’d probably broken something. So yeah, it all escalated from there, I went to the hospital and got it checked out…

A lot of swear words were running through my head, I knew it wasn’t very promising from when I had broken a bone before so I had a rough idea what the result would be as it was feeling really bad. What flashed through my head was that Ireland is so close, will I make it in time? I’ve been in this position before, but I’m sure the conclusion will be much better this time around.

Lewis Buchanan Injury Update Shot 2 Lewis Buchanan Injury Update Shot 3 Lewis Buchanan Injury Update Shot 4 Lewis Buchanan Injury Update Shot 5


From the feeling that I had, I knew it was going to be bad but I guess I didn’t want to admit to myself that it was going to be this bad. I guess it makes it harder to believe after I had such a good start to the season. Therefore, it’s hard for me to accept that something is wrong with it.

The conclusion from the hospital was a compound fracture of I think it’s my Olecranon bone in my elbow. The bone actually broke through the skin which made it that little bit worse as it can cause infection, and that’s still the thing for me that worrying for the moment. For now, I’m just sitting and waiting until I get this back slab off and to get all the stitches out. I’ve done a pretty good job of it and it is a big injury to come back from but if I do the work, the rehab and anything I can there are no reason I can’t come back to full fitness. I have a plate and a bunch of screws, they probably won’t come out. We’ll decide later on in the season when the racing is done or if I have a big time off, all it takes is for them to pull them out, but they might just keep them in there forever.

Lewis Buchanan Injury Update Shot 6

The main thing for me over the next months is to keep on top of the physio work, I’ve had injuries like this before and I’ve not taken them as serious so I think this time round I will have more of a plan, more of a schedule to follow that will enable me to come back to full fitness, potential, strength, and what not. So I’m pretty confident that I have the right people in my corner and the right team to support me, so I’ll be able to come straight back into where I left off.

Having any injury at any time is bad but for me, it’s pretty critical that I’ve managed to get rounds 1 and 2 done with some pretty good results so you could maybe say I’ve almost ‘established’ myself as a ‘top 10 rider’. So if I had come prior to the start of the season the chances of me fighting through the off season with an injury, I wouldn’t be able to ride at my full potential. Now I have an idea of the pace and what to expect of an EWS, by the time I come back I should be able to be just about start from where I left off. I’m in good hands I think.

Lewis Buchanan Injury Update Shot 7

My team and sponsors are supportive and it’s what I would expect from companies that are so big and professional as them, they are backing me 100%. I think they believe in me now after taking a risk in the beginning from both sides, they never knew how I would do and no matter how hard I worked I still didn’t really know where I’d end up, and I think now that they know I have the potential they have that little bit more trust in backing me, so yeah they will do anything they can to help me get back faster. It’s a good combination.

The results are definitely a big thing for sure, even looking ahead to 2017 with just a 1 year deal for the moment. You never know what happens, anything can happen. BMC would be the same whether I’d injured myself or not, they signed me for a reason.

Lewis Buchanan Injury Update Shot 8

I’m not worried I’ll end up in the same position I did in downhill with repeat injuries affecting my momentum and speed. Purely because more with myself personally, I’m more mature, like I said I learnt a lot from my younger days from downhill, I was probably a bit stupid and didn’t listen to anyone, I thought I could do it all myself. Now I’ll openly admit that they were pretty big mistakes, but you learn from your mistakes and I’m in good hands now and working with people who I really feel like I get on with and we gel together. So I’m confident that when I come back there won’t be any mental barriers or any sort of stones left unturned.


Its really hard to say when I’ll be back, the whole thing with this injury is the stiffness and all about what range of motion you can get back in your elbow. I’ll have to play it by ear and take it on a week by week basis to see how it improves and we’ll go from there. I’d rather come back when I know I have the feeling I had when I started the year, the fitness thing won’t be an issue. We’ve developed that over the course of since November to March and when you’re working on fitness like that it doesn’t just disappear. I think the skills thing will still be there it will just be the whole stiffness thing on the elbow and whether I can get strength back into it. To be fair, if I’m honest right now I have no doubts that when I come back I’ll come back when it’s the right time and I know that my trainer won’t let me come back if I’m not 100%, so I think it will all fall into place pretty well.

Keep up to date with Lewis’ recovery by watching out for the next instalment, but more regular updates can be found on his Facebook Page.

Don’t miss our bike check of Lewis Buchanan’s BMC Trailfox

Words: Lewis Buchanan / Ross Bell Photos: Ross Bell

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