O’Grady aiming for Paris-Roubaix, now back in training
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

O’Grady aiming for Paris-Roubaix, now back in training

by Conal Andrews at 7:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
 

Form affected by a dramatic collapse in November and, more recently, a bout of bacterial pneumonia, Australian rider Stuart O’Grady has outlined that a second win in Paris-Roubaix is his personal goal for the first half of the 2010 season.

Now 36, he won the race in 2007 and will head there again dreaming of taking another cobblestone trophy. “I am personally after Paris-Roubaix and the whole team knows that they are there for me and Fabian Cancellara,” he told Feltet.dk, appearing to dismiss Saxo Bank team-mate Matti Breschel’s suggestion that he will also be a protected rider.

“It [the race] is for me, personally, and after that I am more than happy to ride again for the boys in the Tour de France.”

O’Grady recently disclosed that he would miss tomorrow’s Stan Siejka Launceston International Classic due to pneumonia but said on Christmas Eve that he has been allowed to return to training.

“This morning I was told by my doctor that everything is in order, so I can start training again easily. There is still a little inflammation in the body, though.”

He said that he can’t push himself hard and that this would make it impossible for him to be in contention for next month’s Tour Down Under. He’s likely to ride the race, but will have to be realistic about his ambitions.

“I will definitely not be in the same form as I have been at the start of the season in recent years,” he conceded. “Last year I said that I was not well prepared for the Tour Down Under, yet I was close to winning. It will be really hard to be ready at the starting line [this time] and so I will not be there to win.”

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