Frenchman Franck Bouyer is back with his Bouygues Telecom team in 2009 after spending three years caught in a judicial and administrative battle. The former pro rider is suffering from narcolepsy (uncontrollable sleep attacks) and was prohibited to race in 2004 , after his condition was revealed. Bouyer was not allowed to compete since he needed to take a forbidden substance, modafinil, in order to treat his illness. He was left without a team at the end of 2006.
But the 34 year-old found a new treatment in June, which is not performance-enhancing, and has therefore been offered a contract again with his former team last month. Although he is immensely happy to be able to come back to racing, Bouyer felt that he "lost out on the three best years of my career. When I was first prohibited to race, I had all of my capacities. I was really enjoying myself on the bike," he said to L'Equipe.
Now, the target is to come back to form over the winter. The riders of Bouygues Telecom have just come together for a first training camp. "I was wary of the training camp and the reaction of my team-mates. But they welcomed me very well. Now, I need to learn how to ride in a group once again and adapt the new training methods," he said.