After struggling for the last few months with illness, Vacansoleil-DCM's Romain Feillu is finally optimistic that his problems are behind him after starting a course of treatment that is already starting to work.
Feillu has been fighting for strength at the end of stages in recent races, including at the Tour de L'Ain, which finished last weekend. After winning seven times in 2011, this season has been a disappointing one for the French rider but he is looking ahead to the remainder of the campaign with renewed optimism after seemingly getting to the bottom of his gastric problems.
"I must admit that I was powerless in some of the sprint finishes at the Tour de L'Ain," he wrote on his blog. "However, I am quite optimistic about the future because I now know why I was not at my best level since the beginning of the year - it is in fact largely due to bacteria in my stomach.
"This bacteria can survive despite the acidity of the stomach. It has been responsible for the abdominal pain and chronic diarrhea, but also a bad-absorption of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
"I have received two different treatments, the first homeopathic treatment a month ago and the second antibiotic since the beginning of last week. I have noticed a change from the second day of taking antibiotics and I even stopped vomiting during the last 3 days of the Tour de l'Ain. I am so happy to have found the cause of these problems and look foward to the end of the season."