German Hanka Kupfernagel will make her return to the UCI cyclo-cross circuit at the Nommay World Cup in France this coming weekend.
After a successful cyclo-cross season which saw her win the overall UCI World Cup and lead the UCI rankings, the five-time world champion (cyclo-cross, 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2008, road time trial 2008) missed most of the summer due to injuries from a crash sustained in June at the Tour de PEI in Canada.
Interviewed on her personal web site, www.hanka-kupfernagel.de, she explained that although she did not break any bones in the crash, she suffered from headaches and problems with her cervical spine.
After plenty of physiotherapy and an extended break from racing, the 35-year-old spent time in October training in Mallorca in good weather to prepare for her return to top level competition this weekend.
"I didn't want to take part in a competition until I'was all fit again," Kupfernagel said.
The slow start meant that she has postponed her goal of seeking another world cup overall title in cyclo-cross. Instead, she will look to the World Championships in Tabor in January, and even further down the road to 2011, when 'cross worlds will be held in her home country at St. Wendel, Germany.