Byberg healthy again and back on track

Lene Byberg (Specialized Racing)

Lene Byberg (Specialized Racing) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

During the first three World Cups of this year, Lene Byberg (Specialized) has proven that she is back on track in 2011 after a tough 2010 season.

"After last season, I'm very excited to be up there again," said Byberg. "Every race now, I'm getting closer."

The Norwegian cross country racer finished 5th, 8th, and 5th respectively in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa; Dalby, United Kingdom; and Offenburg, Germany. Presently, the petite, blonde racer is enjoying a mid-season break from racing before the next World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne in early July. During her time off the circuit, she's concentrating on training and spending some time at home.

Coming off a silver medal at the world championships in Canberra in 2009, Byberg's 2010 season started well enough at Sea Otter, but then she got ill before the World Cup in Dalby. "I rode through it, and then I got more ill. The weekend after was the next World Cup, and I still raced, but my body couldn't handle it. I didn't rest enough."

"I pushed too much because my brain wanted more than my body. I didn't stop and take time to rest. I blew the whole 2010 season. Again when I started training again, I pushed too hard and I got into a bad cycle."

Byberg finally pulled the plug on 2010 just before the world championships last September. "I decided to just stop, not do the Worlds because I was not in shape to do the race. I decided to recover totally and start all over. I think it was a very good decision and it seems to have worked."

Currently ranked fourth in the World Cup, Byberg will head to North America to race the next two rounds in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec and Windham, New York.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.