Cross country mountain biker Lea Davison will return to the race scene in 2011 after most of a year off competition due to an injury and subsequent recovery. The 27-year-old American is making her comeback as the newest signing by Team Specialized.
"I am raring to go," said Davison. "I am just so excited to get back out there and race."
After completing some warm weather training blocks in California and Hawaii, the Vermont resident will spend the rest of the pre-season at home, including plenty of Nordic skiing.
Davison will race domestically and internationally again in 2011. She'll begin her early season with the US Cup Triple Crown and US Pro XCT races in California and Texas. "I'll miss the first World Cup in South Africa, but then I'm off to do Dalby, Offenburg and the rest from then on."
Late last winter, Davison experienced two incidents of hip injury, one while skiing and one while weight lifting. "I tore my labrum. It took two months to figure out what was going on - it was a super frustrating time," she said. At the time, she was contracted by the Maxxis - Rocky Mountain team.
The labrum is a ring of cartilage found in both the hip and shoulder ball and socket-type joints. The tear caused Davison pain whenever she flexed her left hip.
Davison had the choice to race last season with a cortisone shot or have surgery to repair the problem. Concerned about racing on a partially healed hip and the effect on her pedal stroke as well as the possibility of compensation injuries, she chose arthroscopic surgery.
"I didn't want complications, and I wanted to come into this season fully prepared. I had surgery on April 30."
"They stitched up the torn labrum and anchored it back to the bone," she said. "I have some new hardware, but I won't be setting off any metal detectors.
"I was recovering all summer and working with a trainer and my doctor to tailor my comeback for this season. It's been a long haul, but my recovery hasn't been rushed. Sitting on the sidelines last year was really hard - especially not being able to move my body like I'm used to."
Davison has found getting back into the rhythm again to be challenging, but said she is preparing as well as she can and is optimistic about her recovery and return to competition.
"I hope to pick up where I left off and be even stronger," she said. "This injury has given the opportunity to address other weaknesses in my riding. Time will tell."
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for more news of Davison. Cyclingnews will be bringing you a racer blog from Lea Davison during the 2011 season.