Making the most of things
Whether or not Danilo Hondo consciously used the drug Carphedon or not will probably never be decided in a courtroom, but he will continue to deny it until the end of his days and wonder why he tested positive. But if the former Gerolsteiner rider has been dragged through the mud by doping charges and court cases, he's certainly not showing it too much, and has learned never to give up, as he tells Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer.
Cyclingnews: You have been able to ride races again since the Swiss court ruling on June 6. How are you coping with all of these ups and downs?
Danilo Hondo: It's a very difficult situation. There's no final decision yet; this is just another small step forward - you have to learn to make the best of life.
CN: In your very first races back, you finished near the front, but didn't win. Did you ever wonder whether you would win again - whether you still had the necessary physical and mental condition?
DH: When you start to ride again after a long break, even like the winter break, then you never know how good or how strong you will be. It's not just a question of physical form, especially in sprinting, where you immediately get that feeling of whether everything is going optimally in order to ride the perfect sprint.
To be second behind Petacchi in my first race back was practically like a win. To lose to a man like him is nothing to be ashamed of, and I knew then that I would win again. Of course you ask yourself whether you will win again, but when you train, you quickly see what your condition is. Sure, I was nervous before my first race, but within a few kilometres I realised I was doing well.
Click here for the full interview