Kai Reus back to winning ways in Brittany
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Friday, August 12, 2011

Kai Reus back to winning ways in Brittany

by Shane Stokes at 12:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Dutchman plans to keep building prior to 2012 season; could a Rabobank return happen?

Kai ReusLess than two months after returning to competition in the Dutch time trial championship, former Rabobank rider and world junior champion Kai Reus clocked up his first win yesterday on stage one of the Tour de Mi Aout en Bretagne.

The De Rijke competitor won a nine man sprint to the line in Pontrieux, edging out Florian Vachon (Bretagne – Schuller) and David Chopin (Bretagne) plus six others. He consequently took the first leader’s jersey in the race, and showed that he is on track in terms of rebuilding his condition.

He admitted afterwards that he was taken aback to reach victory. “I don’t understand it,” he said on his personal blog. “I did not feel so good, and even had a cold. With 25 kilometres to go until the finish I got away as part of a group of nine and in the last kilometre I jumped and held them off. A super feeling.

Reus said afterwards that he didn’t expect to be in that position so soon. He said that he was using the event as his first stage race in order to build form prior to some 1.1 events later this month and in September. “I’ll see how it goes, but it’s a great start,” he said.

He lost the jersey this afternoon but yesterday’s result shows that he is already making strong progress in his comeback.

Reus highlighted his ability when he became world junior champion in 2003; three years later, he took the Under 23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and the following season he turned pro with the Rabobank team. He rode solidly in early events, but then disaster struck on July 12th when he crashed while training in the Alps. He fell on a descent, was knocked unconscious and suffered a wound to the back of his head, fractured ribs and a broken collarbone. He was placed in an artificial coma for several days.

He returned to racing over a year later in the 2008 Tour of Missouri and made a breakthrough in September of 2009 when he won the second stage of the Tour of Britain. He held yellow for several days and ultimately finished fourth overall. However he suffered mononucleosis and was forced to stop racing until May 2010. Despite finishing 35th in the Tour of Belgium, he cracked and announced that he was leaving the sport indefinitely.

"It's just not good," he said at the time. “There is more going on than I can quickly explain, but I've just had enough of all these setbacks. I have spent three years fighting to come back. There have been many ups and downs, and I must now look carefully at what I will do in the future.”

He went back to speed skating, performing well there, and then decided to give cycling another shot.

After announcing his return, Reus spoke to VeloNation in June and said that he was determined to work hard. “The results are not so important for me right now. I will try to build good condition for next year, for 2012.

“There’s not that much racing in July when the Tour de France is on,” he continued. “But maybe in August I will do one day races in Belgium and Germany. There will be a lot of smaller events in Belgium so perhaps they will be best for training, and then I hope to do eight to ten 1.1 races this year.”

Reus finished a very solid 13th out of 40 riders in the Dutch national TT. He said at the time that he was still in contact with people from the Rabobank team. Should his comeback continue to go well, they may yet give him the chance to wear their colours again.

 

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