Spitz forced to delay season start after surgery
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spitz forced to delay season start after surgery

by Bjorn Haake at 3:33 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Mountain Biking
 

Mountain biker Sabine Spitz has to delay her season start after a groin surgery had become inevitable in December. The German hopes to start mild training again in mid-February.

The winter went quite differently for Spitz compared to previous years. "It is a strange feeling to just relax this time of the year. This hasn't happened to me in 15 years," she wrote on her website sabinespitz.com. But she acknowledged she has to give herself the time to heal.

Always the fighter, she tried to disobey doctors' advice for complete rest after the surgery. "When I tried to move myself, I had a circulatory collapse," Spitz said. She is a little bit sad when she thinks about her 'Central' teammates gathering up the miles in southern Europe.

Spitz already had problems during last season and eventually it became clear that it was either to have to stop professional mountain biking or get the surgery over and done with. "It was a little bit like choosing between pest and cholera," Spitz added sarcastically.

In the end the career was more important to her. "I still have the desire and the motivation to compete in mountain bike races, and successfully at that." It was clear right away that she would have to take off for two months, but due to complications she had to get a second surgery, which delayed things further.

The plan now is to tackle the full training training in Cyprus on March 1, but if she will be ready for the first World Cup race (April 25, Yorkshire, Great Britain) remains to be seen. The doctors told her it will take six months to get back to full strength. "My season goals have shifted. Primarily I am thinking about the second half, especially the marathon Worlds in St. Wendel [Germany] and the cross-country Worlds in Canada."

Spitz doesn't mind having a reduced 2010 season. "It is most important that I can tackle my long term goal, the 2012 Olympics, in perfect condition," the 2008 Olympic champ said. Defending her gold would continue her love story with the Olympics, where she also won bronze, in Athens in 2004.

Above all, she realized that one thing stands above even racing. "It really showed me how health is the most important asset there is."

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