By Les Clarke
With the UCI Track World Championships just over a week away, Australian rider Glenn O'Shea finds himself in a race against time to be ready for the titles in Poland thanks to a case of chickenpox. After securing a second Bendigo Madison title earlier this month with fellow Victorian Leigh Howard, the talented 19-year-old will try to shake the virus before riding the Madison with Howard in Pruskow.
Howard told Cyclingnews on Saturday that O'Shea, with whom he has ridden at World Cup, UIV Cup and professional Six-Day level this season, had just been diagnosed with chickenpox. Howard was confident that time was on their side and he should be able to ride the Madison at the world titles.
The pair has impressed this season, delivering on the promise both riders have shown over the past three years. In addition to the second consecutive Bendigo title they took out UIV Cup events and finished fourth in the Lotto Six-Day in Hasselt against the likes of Danny Stam, Franco Marvulli and Bruno Risi.
Despite this setback, Howard and O'Shea have made it into medal calculations for the world titles with their performances this season. It's a boost to Australia's Madison stocks, with the nation not qualifying for the event in last year's Beijing Olympic Games.