Hushovd recovering from virus, will be ready for 2013 season

The BMC Racing Team announced today that it has found the reason behind Thor Hushovd's dismal season: a viral infection caused muscle inflammation which weakened his performance on the bike.

Hushovd underwent four days of testing at the Salt Lake City Health and Fitness Institute with the team's medical officer Dr. Max Testa. "The purpose of the tests was to explain his reduced exercise tolerance that has been limiting his performance throughout the season," Testa said. "At the end of the four days, we determined Thor suffered a post-viral syndrome with secondary myositis – or muscles inflammation. His medical condition is currently improving, and a full recovery is expected for next season."

The diagnosis was relief for Hushovd, who was brought in to the team to bolster its Spring Classics team, but fell ill prior to Milan-San Remo. He struggled through the Classics, and could only manage 14th at Paris-Roubaix. He has not raced since he dropped out of the Tour of Poland in July, even giving up his place to represent Norway in the 2012 Olympic Games.

"It's a really big relief that I've been fighting all year with these bad sensations on the bike," Hushovd said. "After a while, you lose some confidence. But now that I've finally found out why I had this weakness, I'm relieved. Now I know that I can come back strong for next year."

With the worst of it behind him, Hushovd is set to return to training in a few weeks. "Right now, I'm just keeping the muscles active," he said. "Yesterday I rode my bike and did some core training. So now I'll just be trying to stay active until the first of October so I don't lose too much fitness."

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