Reams of news print have been spent on the return of Lance Armstrong, although there's another pro rider quietly making his return to the paid ranks. He's also American, and like Armstrong, plies his trade clad in pale blue. Garmin-Slipstream's Tim Duggan's comeback is very different to his countryman's as Cyclingnews' Les Clarke discovers.
It's tough returning to the bike after an accident. From distant muscle memory in the legs to the mental aspect of confronting the 'demons' of the road, getting back in the saddle is no easy task. If that crash meant suffering potentially life-threatening consequences it's even more difficult, as Tim Duggan found out.
A crash on a descent during stage three of last year's Tour de Georgia left one of Garmin-Slipstream's 'foundation riders' in a critical state in hospital. A broken collarbone and scapula were the outward indication that he had fallen, although according to the 26-year-old there was a more sinister effect of the impact that occurred at around 80km/h.
"I was on the cusp of having brain surgery where they'd have to go in and relieve some of the pressure [on my brain]," says Duggan. "I was on the redline for that over a couple of days... luckily they never had to do that, it went down on its own. He adds that the recovery was, "Just a case of a lot of time, a lot of rest and a lot of cognitive and psychological rehab."
Read the full interview with Tim Duggan.