Dani Rowe: Welsh cyclist celebrates 'best result' of road-racing career
Dani Rowe says her podium finish in the 2018 Women's Tour was the best result of her career on the road.
Despite a heavy crash, Wales' Rowe placed third in the general classification, 25 seconds behind winner Coryn Rivera as the best British rider.
Now she hopes a knee injury will not prevent her competing in the National Championships later this month.
"Injury aside, it's my best result on the road ever," she said.
"It's such a world-class field of riders in such a prestigious race on the World Tour. It's one of the hardest races there is. It was absolutely amazing."
As if the race was challenging enough already, Rowe crashed heavily at 38mph (60km/h) in the penultimate stage.
After limping the final 1.86m (3km) to the finish line, fearing she had shattered her knee-cap, Rowe was desperate to recover for what would be the biggest day of her stage-racing career.
She even sent out a plea on social media for medical equipment to get her onto the start line the following day.
"There are some really nice people in this world," said Rowe, 27.
"I was really asking for someone local [in the Telford area] but it turned out the guy who came to the team hotel did a four-hour round trip to help me out.
"But the treatment he gave me really helped me recover as much as possible in the 18 hours between races.
"After what he had done for me, there was no way I could have just given up the next day. I just had to grit my teeth and not let four days of hard go to waste."
Rowe, married to the brother of Team Sky rider Luke Rowe, is a four-time world champion and Olympic gold medallist on the track.
Now she has turned her attention to road racing, in which she won bronze at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, and has set her sights on a British title in the National Championships.
"I was worried after the crash but I don't think there's any long-term damage," she said.
"Luckily it's just muscle-tissue damage so I should be back on the bike soon."
The National Championships road race will be held in Northumberland on Sunday, 1 July with the Giro Rosa stage-race beginning just five days later in Italy.
"It's not a good time to pick up an injury with so much racing between now and the World Championships [in Austria in September]," added Rowe.
"Riding the final stage of the Women's Tour was probably the worst thing I could have done for the recovery.
"But hopefully now I can rest up before the Nationals. They are the biggest target for me so hopefully the doctor will give me the OK to get myself on the start line."
Meanwhile, Rowe's fellow Welsh rider Manon Lloyd was also forced to abandon the Women's Tour early after suffering a fractured pelvis.