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Troy Brosnan races to second place
Australian recovered from back-to-back injuries
Two time junior downhill world champion Troy Brosnan will make his return to racing at the 2013 Australian Mountain Bike National Championships at Mount Stromlo, Canberra on February 20-24.
Brosnan's return comes after an injury-plagued 2012 season in which the West Australian suffered life threatening injuries after crashing heavily racing in Leogang, Austria in May.
"I knew I could have died, I only just got to the hospital in time because I was losing so much blood from my spleen," said Brosnan, who suffered a dislocated shoulder and ruptured spleen in the crash.
Brosnan underwent three months of rehabilitation before he was allowed back onto a downhill bike, making his return in September at the UCI Downhill World Championships also in Leogang, in what would also be his elite world championships debut.
Returning to the same track which almost cost Brosnan his life, the 19-year-old's world championship dream was shattered when he crashed on the second corner of his race run, once again dislocating his shoulder.
"I had felt pretty fit going into the world championships. I felt confident I could have won a medal," Brosnan lamented.
"But all of that was taken away from me in the second corner of the race, I couldn't even get a first split to see how fast I was going, and that hurts a fair bit."
The three-time national champion admits that his second injury came at a greater toll than his life threatening one just four months earlier.
"At the time of my first injury, I was more worried about my spleen and only did a little bit of rehab on my shoulder," he said.
"After my last accident, I had surgery on my shoulder and that took a lot of time to heal and to progress up to where I was previously in terms of strength. I felt like I could ride a bike, but I wasn't allowed to so it was a lot mentally harder to deal with."
After his lengthy period of rehabilitation, Brosnan is set to make his return to downhill racing at the Australian championships, after just three weeks back on the bike.
"I can't wait," said Brosnan, who will contest the elite men's downhill event at Canberra's Stromlo Forest Park on Sunday, February 24. "I love racing and it's always heaps of fun getting out on the tracks and going as fast as I can. I want to get back up to race speed and have fun."
"Sometimes when you are forced to have time away from the bike, it's really good for a rider because it can level their head and they normally come back stronger and more determined.
"I have been thinking about that and hopefully I can come back stronger and faster," Brosnan said.
Brosnan will aim to defend his elite downhill national title in Canberra before heading overseas to compete in the World Cup series.