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DIARY: A turbulent start to 2012

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It’s been a turbulent start to the season to say the least. I arrived at the Mallorca training camp in January in good shape but feeling like something wasn’t quite right on the bike. Shortly afterwards during the Volta ao Algarve, I picked up a chest infection which kept me bed ridden for almost two weeks and then lingered on for another two weeks preventing me from taking the start at Paris-Nice.

As I felt progressively better I began to train more, only to have an accident on my TT bike which had me in hospital for the day- luckilly only leaving with a chin full of stitches.

Shortly thereafter I had some blood tests that revealed active bilharzia parasites in my system, which I have been trying to get rid of for the past 18 months. This would explain why the chest infection affected me so severely and it took me so long to get over.

Currently, I’m sitting with three weeks of solid training in the bank since repeating the treatment for bilharzia and all the signs are looking good. It will probably still take me a bit of time to get used to the race rhythm again but physically and mentally I’m now ready to race again. At long last!

As I write this I’m on the way to the team hotel just outside Geneva, Switzerland. The rain outside is pelting down and it’s 6 degrees. Not ideal racing conditions but I’m just glad to be back with the team and ready to race. It should be an exciting week ahead as the team we have here is both interested in the GC and sprint finishes. I'll leave it at that for now. 

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