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Rogers won't return to defend California crown

By:
Jane Aubrey
Published:
May 11, 2011, 1:44 BST,
Updated:
May 11, 2011, 3:04 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Race:
Amgen Tour of California
Michael Rogers makes his way through the convoy back to the peloton.

Michael Rogers makes his way through the convoy back to the peloton.

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Australian recovering from virus

In 2010 Michael Rogers held off challenges from David Zabriskie and Levi Leipheimer to win the 5th edition of the Tour of California, however it appears as though the Australian will not return to defend his title.

Rogers left HTC-Columbia at the end of 2010 to join Sky, explaining to Cyclingnews at the Tour Down Under that: "I feel like I reached my limit with HTC with California... Sky's goals are more suited in my direction now."

The three-time world time trial champion season has so far consisted of the Australian World Tour race where he finished 53rd overall; he was down to race the Volta ao Algarve but did not start; he then finished 12th at Paris-Nice, was 83rd at Milan – San Remo before taking on Pais Vasco where he was 111th.

Rogers' twitter feed has given some insight into his interrupted schedule, explaining that as early as March 26th, he had been struggling with his health. A month later, he said: "Unfortunately no Tour of Romandie for me! I'm out with a virus that's been lingering around for a few months!"

Fortunately, his health seems to be on the way back, explaining on May 7: "Nice to be back into some serious training again. I will be back racing again in the near future!"

Rogers sat out most of the 2008 season after he contracted glandular fever.

Meantime, Sky has announced a line-up of Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Alex Dowsett, Chris Froome, Mathew Hayman, Greg Henderson, Jeremy Hunt, Ian Stannard, and Ben Swift for the Amgen Tour of California.

Rogers is next expected to race at the Bayern-Rundfahrt which starts May 25.
 

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