26 August 2012
He used to be a big talent.
He won the World Championships for juniors in 2003.
He became the Dutch sport talent of the year 2004.
He was the Dutch U23 road and time trial champion in 2006.
But then there was that day in 2007.
It was the 12th of July and he was training in France.
While descending from the Col d’Iséran,
his bike lost its chain and he fell.
Everything changed from that moment on.
People found him lying by the side of the road.
They took him to a hospital in Grenoble.
In order to recover, doctors kept him in a coma for eleven days.
They needed to operate him to stop a bleeding in his head.
He also broke his left collarbone and three ribs.
Step by step he managed to recover and get back on a bike.
The Rabobank Cycling Team, which had always been his team,
continued to support him and took him back in September 2008.
Then one year later, in 2009, he managed to win a stage in the Tour of Britain.
However, in 2010 he decided to quit cycling because of all the struggles.
He was, for example, diagnosed with Mononucleosis in 2009.
He then decided to start skating marathon again, one of his childhood hobbies.
He participated in a professional team and in some professional races.
He even managed to show that he is quite good at it, like on the Weissensee.
On the other hand, he missed cycling and made his comeback for the second time on the 22nd of June 2011 for the continental Dutch cycling team De Rijke.
He then won the first stage in the international race Mi-Août en Bretagne.
In 2012 he started cycling for the pro continental team UnitedHealthcare.
Last week, on the 23rd of August, he won the 7th stage in the Volta a Portugal.
He was the fastest rider in the leading group after 185 kilometres.
The 27-year-old was smiling from ear to ear.
He even screamed when he crossed the finish line.
This was not just a stage win, it was more than that.
Everyone who knows his history is aware of this.
Kai Reus had been waiting for this victory.
So he tweeted: “I’m back! I’m ROCKY!!!”
© Volta a Portugal, 2012 – Laurens ten Dam, 2009