Augustyn speaks about move from Team Sky to Utensilnord Named squad
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Augustyn speaks about move from Team Sky to Utensilnord Named squad

by Shane Stokes at 8:59 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
South African rider still rebuilding after hip replacement surgery

John Lee AugustynConfirmed this week as joining the new Utensilnord Named team, which is being formed out of some elements of the structure De Rosa-Flaminia, John Lee Augustyn will be one of those leaving the Sky Procycling squad at the end of the year. The 25 year old has had a difficult season due to the diagnosis of avascular necrosis, a crumbling hip complaint caused by a crash he suffered in the 2007 Tour of Portugal.

Like Floyd Landis, who had the same problem in 2006, Augustyn underwent the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing in March. Since then he has been recovering and then training, and will now aim to get his career back on track in 2012 with the new squad.

“It's a Pro Continental team based in Brescia, Italy, which is also close to my home here so is also more comfortable for me,” Augustyn told VeloNation today. “My agent Alex Carera has been hunting around for a good team for me and we came across Fabio Bordonali [the team owner], who was interested in me. We all came to a decision that this would be a great team for me to find my legs again!”

Unlike another departing Sky team-mate Russell Downing, Augustyn hardly raced this season. He was due to start in the Volta ao Algarve in February but his hip problem meant that he was hardly able to move. Once the operation was done, he started rebuilding again.

“Things have been going forward…maybe not as we liked it to go, but small injuries and hiccups will always arise,” he said. “I have only done one race this season! It’s not really been easy to get back but we also did not want to push it to hard and then get a lot of problems later, which sort of happened. But for now I'm taking it easy and will slowly start to build for next year again.”

Surprisingly, Augustyn won’t head back to South Africa until the beginning of December. He’ll remain in Europe for another month and a half, then head to the Southern hemisphere with his wife until the middle of January.

He’s not sure what competitions he’ll begin with, but those details will emerge soon. “We are still working on the racing program and will soon have an idea, more or less, of what will happen,” he said.

For the first few months, the most important thing of all is to get back on track at a pace his body can handle. “For next year the goals will be to find my racing rhythm and confidence again and to get the hang of things within the bunch. Where I can I will take the chance to do something for myself. We will take it step by step…”


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