“I’m racing to find my form again and today I had it but I finished with cramps.” said Pierrick Fédrigo (FDJ) after finishing second at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal on Sunday.
After a very disappointing start of the season with his new team, an exhausted Fédrigo pulled himself out of his team’s Tour de France roster. After a multitude of tests, he was finally diagnosed with lyme disease.
“It’s surely from a tick bite but I don’t know when it happened, I don’t know when I got it. It’s a disease that exhausts you. It took a long time to identify because the disease follows a cycle, sometimes you can find it easily, but other times you have to do extensive tests to identify it.” Fédrigo explained.
“Now I’m cured and I’m trying to find my form and more importantly to find the joy in suffering on the bike.”
Once treated, it was time for the 32-year old former French National Road Champion to focus on getting fit again.
“It’s a lot of work.” he said about getting back to his former shape. “To recover your form when they’ve been searching to find what I had and then, in July, I withdrew my name from the Tour de France in order to take care of my health and finally I am okay.”
In Sunday’s 205.7 km (127.8-mi) WorldTour race in Montreal, Fédrigo was able to stay with the pack handling the tough climbs and accelerations until he managed to escape along with two other riders with less than 7 kilometers to go. The three worked well together pushing the gap up to 15 seconds with only one kilometer left.
Fédrigo opened up the sprint first but was passed by eventual Rui Costa (Movistar) and had to settle for second. A satisfying result for the three-time Tour de France stage winner as it showed that he was on the right track.
Now it’s all about racing.
“I want to continue to race, to continue progressing. I try to take it day by day, like I said to recover my form and after we’ll see. I’m going to try to finish the season on a good note to try to restart in 2012 the right way.”