Kai Reus of Rabobank is preparing to make yet another comeback to racing. Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt on Saturday in Frankfurt, Germany, will be his first race since the end February.
Reus had to drop out of the first stage of the Tour du Haut Var on February 20. “After 50km I had to put on the brakes. I was completely empty,” he said on the team's website. He was subsequently diagnosed with mononucleosis.
The diagnosis was hard to take at first, not knowing how seriously ill he was and fearing that he might have to miss the whole season. “Fortunately I had a light case and I knew I could train again relatively quickly.”
He has been on the bike again for three weeks and is now ready for his first race, which was formerly known as Rund um den Henninger Turm. “My main goal is to finish. I am glad that I can ride again.”
This return to racing is not as dramatic as the first. A training accident in July 2006 caused head injuries serious enough to have him placed in an induced coma for 12 days. Reus returned to racing late the next season for the Rabobank Continental team, and capped his comeback by winning the first stage of the 2009 Tour of Britain and wearing the leader's jersey for three stages.
Frankfurt is only the first step now for the 25-year-old. “One of my big goals for this season is the Vuelta a España. I'm ready to fight. I want to deserve the Vuelta. It would be a great reward for everything I've experienced the past three years.”
Reus will be one of only seven Rabobank riders in Frankfurt. Koos Moerenhout was expected to start, but is still suffering from a respiratory tract infection, and no one has been nominated to take his place.
Rabobank for Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt: Stef Clement, Jos van Emden, Steven Kruijswijk, Tom Leezer, Nick Nuyens, Kai Reus and Bram Tankink.