The ‘rider’ ends the season “super happy” and “proud” after a two-year ordeal due to a back injury: “He was crying from the pain”
The Spanish ‘rider’ Lucas Eguibar is “very proud” for his runner-up position in the World Cup circuit of the cross-country modality, after having overcome the ordeal that a back injury caused in recent years that prevented him from “being sitting for more than 20 minutes” and for which he has cried “in pain”, although a treatment with stem cells has “changed his life” to have recovered the illusion “completely”.
“I am finding emotions a little. The last month of racing has been intense, from hotel to hotel, from station to station, but I am super happy for everything that has happened. Wear, planes, hours of car and hotels, but In the end we like racing and it hooks me. I’ve always liked competing, in everything”, Eguibar commented in an interview with Europa Press.
The 29-year-old from San Sebastián touched his second Crystal Globe, finishing second in the snowboardcross World Cup circuit, with third and fourth places in the last two races held in Mt.St.Anne (Canada). . “I am very proud. I was on the verge of achieving it, but the last time I got on the podium was in 2016”, he recalled, satisfied with his result, since in “the following years” he has not done “so well”. .
“This year I’m super happy because after everything I’ve been through with my back, I see that I can be on top again and I can fight for the title,” he celebrated. The world champion in 2021 recalled his final race, in which he always had to finish two positions ahead of the German Martin Noerl, who won the title. The man from San Sebastian managed to reach the last one having cut 26 points, for which he saw “quite feasible” what would have been his second Crystal Globe – he already won it in 2015 -.
“There was a lot of pressure, but I think we managed it well. He is one of the best or the best,” he warned. “The first thing I thought (when crossing the finish line) is ‘it has escaped me’, obviously. My first feeling, my first thought, was ‘damn, what a shame that I had it so close and it escaped me’, but I come what I come from. This summer we have made a complete reset due to the injury, and coming from that and now being second, that we almost got the title, is super positive”, Eguibar celebrated.
And it is that the ‘rider’ has gone through a physical ordeal the last two years, in which he has not been able to “give one hundred percent” due to a back injury that made him even consider continuing to compete at the highest level . “Last season I ended up very exhausted. I love competing and I wanted to continue, but after last year I couldn’t, it didn’t make me happy, I couldn’t continue. It was time to compete and go to bed, and my fever rose due to the stress I had endured” , recounted.
“I have had a thousand infiltrations in 2016, 2017, before the World Cup. I was still in pain, but I was doing well. In the quarterfinals of the World Cup that I won -2021-, I was entering the finish line and there was a jump with a very flat fall and I I let go, but I fell and I felt a ‘clack’. It was a before and after, I remember the moment perfectly. After that I couldn’t sit for ten minutes. I remember that I was going to have dinner with my family and I couldn’t be sitting for more than 20 or 30 minutes”, he stressed about the exact moment in which the hardest months began.
From there, Eguibar combined his recovery with infiltrations and competition, a very demanding process “psychologically” and “very mentally exhausting”. “He had to start calculating what he had to do before the race so as not to get tired,” he explained. “For the 2022 Games we did an infiltration before the preseason and it worked, but we did three or four drops, the day there were five more, it’s nothing, since I used to do 15, but I couldn’t with the pain,” he recalled.
In fact, he revealed that that same night he competed he could not return from Beijing with the delegation of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) due to pain. “I was crying in pain. We had a 30-hour trip and I remember talking to the COE and telling them that I was paying for the trip, I couldn’t fly,” he said, before confessing to a very representative episode of the ordeal that caused his back injury.
“I remember after finishing one of the races, we had to travel by train and I was crying on the floor of the train with my physio, who was helping me to go to the plane. It’s just that I wasn’t having fun, that’s why my life changed, from not being able to do anything to, this year, travel the day after the races”, he described.
But a year ago, Eguibar explained his case to Dr. José Luis de Córdoba, who offered him to start a treatment with stem cells that was going to “work a lot.” “The second week we went to train, I freaked out because I said ‘again without pain’. After two years, the first day I trained without pain. I did seven descents, I could see that I was flowing,” he stressed with satisfaction.
“I have recovered the illusion completely,” he said. Therefore, he can once again say that he is “one of the best” on the circuit. “Since the preseason we saw that he was a different person. Last year I couldn’t move; I trained, but I had no fluidity, I was very stiff, my spine was a stick. And this year I can move well, I’m much faster, I have more strength and I’m very competitive”, he reviewed what is “one of the best moments” of his career.
“I have never been as constant as now. I did two races well, one bad, or the other way around, rather I did two bad and one good. And this year there have been nine World Cups and I have been to six finals. We have done very good work”, he applauded, although he warns that the medal as runner-up “is not going to do anything” nor will it make him come out “with an advantage” next year.
Although without an Olympic medal, Eguibar, who has participated in three Winter Games (2014, 2018 and 2022), can boast of being one of the men’s leaders in the table in Spain, with one gold and two silver medals in World Cups. Something that “probably” has weighed on his performance. “No one teaches you to manage it. This year I felt it in Sierra Nevada, people shouted ‘Lucas, Lucas’. But I have competed very well, also on a mental level”, remarked the Basque, who still sees the Games of 2026 in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Finally, he highlighted the work of the recent Junior Cross World Champion, Álvaro Romero, who is doing “super well”. “He hasn’t had very good races in the World Cup, but suddenly he has achieved a podium in the third and last race, and second on top. Now for absolute is when you have to put more cane in and when you have to demand a lot”, he concluded about the future of the table in Spain.