Health Net riders on the mend

The US-based Health Net presented by Maxxis Continental team has had more than its fair share of injury and illness so far this season, and is probably counting itself very fortunate to have a health insurance company as its major sponsor.

Fortunately, according to team spokesman Jeff Sobel, the squad's sick list is expected to get shorter as injured riders recover and plan their return to racing. New Zealander Greg Henderson is set to be the first to come back when he starts the Mt. Hood Classic in Oregon today after taking time off to recover from a fractured hip sustained in a crash during the McLane Pacific Foothills Road Race in March.

Garrett Peltonen is expected to be back on the bike some time in June. Peltonen returned from the team's recent trip to Europe, that included him finishing tenth in the Trophee des Grimpeurs, with a nasty saddle sore and the after-effects of a cold.

Doug Ollerenshaw is also recovering from a hip injury after sustaining an acetabulum, or hip socket fracture at the Trophee des Grimpeurs. The team had hoped he might return for Mt Hood, but he is expected to need another three weeks off and should return at the Tour de Nez in Reno, Nevada, June 22-24.

Alberto Tiberio is at home in Switzerland recovering from a broken wrist sustained in a crash in the Peace Race. The team expects him to return at the Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minnesota, June 14-18.

Hayden Roulston picked up a viral infection after taking the silver medal in the points race at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in March and is still recovering in his native New Zealand.

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