Bernhard Eisel and Marco Haller have much in common: both pro riders, for Dimension Data and Katusha-Alpecin respectively, they also share a home town, Klagenfurt in southern Austria, a friendship and, as of one day in late April 2018, an experience that could have killed both of them or at least ended their careers.

Instead, Haller’s horrific collision with a car on that fateful training ride left him with a kneecap in pieces and Eisel with his season also suddenly on hold – for reasons that he and doctors would only understand in the ensuing days.

For both men a long road to recovery lay ahead – and The Cycling Podcast accompanied them on their respective journeys. This Friends Special tells the story of parallel, year-long odysseys to repair the damage caused that day and restore the two pals to full health. As Haller told us, it was a wild and sometimes terrifying rollercoaster ride.

This episode contains strong language.

Photography by Julian Lajtai ©