Sven Kramer is cautious during his recovery from a knee injury. The 33-year-old Frisian hit his bike on a car last week, and may therefore have to postpone the start of the new skating season.
"I have certainly not given up hoping to make it to the World Cup Qualifying Tournament. We are all doing our utmost to make it on time," Kramer told Schaatsen.nl on Friday.
"We look at it from day to day. It is now all hands on deck and I have to try to do everything as optimally as possible. In my case, that is as little as possible, but you still need to get your training incentives."
Kramer was hit by a car on Saturday when he was on his way to a training session for his Jumbo-Visma team. He flew back to the Netherlands a day later to be examined.
It showed that Kramer had a bruise in his right knee and that he might have to be absent from the World Cup Qualifying Tournament, which will be held from 1 to 3 November in Heerenveen.
"I was a bit disappointed the first time I was back on ice"
Kramer has been on the ice twice already, but that did not go well. "The first time I was a bit disappointed. Today it went a little better, but there is a lot of fluid and blood in my knee and that limits its flexion. It is not painful, but annoying."
"It is getting harder to fight you back. You plan to drive a nice preseason, but when you hit a car, you have to switch again and rehab. You can't do what the rest does and you're not sitting in the flow. That's a shame. "
In any case, Kramer does not have too high expectations, should he just pass the World Cup Qualifier. "If that happens, then I will be at the start without a rhythm. I know that it will only be about the marbles in December, but your sport is to ride good competitions."
"I am not training all summer to just accelerate the second part of the season. The World Cups have been less urgent for me in recent years, but I think it is fun and important to be able to ride well in Thialf. "