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Brown announces return to Australia

Brown after returning home in 2005

Brown after returning home in 2005 (Image credit: John Stevenson)

By Greg Johnson

Australian cyclist Katie Brown has announced she will return home to Sydney at month's end to continue her recovery from the tragic training accident in 2005 that saw Australian Institute of Sport teammate Amy Gillett lose her life. Brown, who has been racing for Dutch women's squad Vrienden Van Het Platteland, made the emotional announcement on July 18, exactly two years after an 18 year-old woman lost control of her vehicle and struck the six AIS riders.

"The month of July will always be a difficult month for my self and the girls I raced with in 2005, it's a month were we remember what was taken from us in more ways than one," said Brown on her website "On this day, July 18, we lost a friend and teammate (Amy Gillett) and yes it has been two years however it never gets any easier when this date comes around, for each of us five that survived we all have healed and progressed in different stages, some quicker than others."

"Unfortunately for myself, my body hasn't healed as fast as I expect and that is why I will be returning back to Sydney at the end of July to get myself back on track," she continued. "Over the last two months I have been fighting sickness and my knee has been fighting me which has added a load of stress on me and I guess that has something to do with the virus I have."

Before returning to Australia to continue her recovery, Brown will contest one final event with her squad - the Thueringen Rundfahrt stage race. Gillett, Brown, Lorian Graham, Kate Nichols, Alexis Rhodes and Louise Yaxley had been riding the Thueringen Rundfahrt's route in a pre-race training rider in 2005 when the accident occurred. Bown, the sister of Rabobank's ProTour rider Graham, suffered a broken right leg, shattered left hand, a collapsed lung, a severed left patella tendon and a number of broken ribs in the crash.

"I have sat down with my team and explained everything and they were fantastic in understanding what was going on," added Brown. "I would like you to remember what happened and then think about how it made you feel when you heard and then think about how it would make you feel if it was one of your family members or friends, in this we should all understand that safety is the number one thing and that we can all make a difference so please be mindful of others around you and drive safe."

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