By Susan Westemeyer
Kai Reus is still recovering from head injuries he suffered in a training accident last summer. "I cannot complain about my recovery so far," he said on his team's website, rabobank.nl. "But that does not mean that I do not still have a long way to go."
The 22 year-old Dutchman crashed while riding alone during a team training camp in France last summer and was placed in a coma while recovering. Rabobank gave him a new contract for the 2008 season even though it was not clear whether he would be able to ride or not.
"Mentally speaking, it is not easy. I had to start all over again from ground zero," he said. "It is a tough road to take. On the other hand, I am aware that I will not be able to ride any races soon."
Reus attended the team training camp in the south of Spain last month. "I never expected that I would be able to participate in this training camp. After all, the neurologist had indicated that the recovery would take some time. In other words, things are going rather smoothly." He rode an adjusted schedule of about 80 kilometres daily.
He is now in Portugal with the Rabobank Continental team. When the time is ripe, he will make his racing return with the Continental team, but for now he is willing to wait. "If you start too soon, then it might backfire later. That is of no use to anyone."
The youngster knows that he will be welcomed back to the ProTour team with open arms, whenever that may be. "Of course, you secretly draw up a time schedule, but that is not in accordance with reality. It is going to take months for me to make my comeback in the pro team," Reus underlined.
"I am very grateful to the team; additionally, my new contract gives me the necessary confidence for the future. This gesture again underlines that I am part of a wonderful team. I doubt whether this could have been possible with other teams."