By Greg Johnson
Australia's Darren Lapthorne will return to international racing for the first time since the death of sister Brit late last year. Lapthorne will contest the Giro del Capo with his Rapha Condor squad in South Africa starting today, having already spent two weeks in the nation training with his new team.
So far things are going really well with the team and training, said Lapthorne. I'm feeling good on the bike and the motivation is sky high. I have a really good feeling about this year and the race program should suite me. After Capo we have Normandie which I'm aiming to really go for.
Lapthorne withdrew from his final races abroad with Team Sparkasse last year after news broke of Brit's disappearance. Brit's body was later found floating off a resort in Dubrovnik, Croatia, where she had been backpacking. An investigation into Brit's murder is ongoing according to local officials.
It's still incredibly difficult trying to focus on cycling with my sister's case and all that has happened in the last few months, said Lapthorne. Luckily I'm in a great environment with Rapha Condor. All I can really do is ride hard and try to keep moving forward.
Lapthorne returned to racing earlier this year at the Jayco Bay Series in Melbourne, Australia and then the Australian Open Road Championships. When he spoke to Cyclingnews in February, he admitted leaving his parents and returning to racing abroad would be a difficult step.