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Killeen plots gradual return

Liam Killeen (Specialized) makes a good comeback

Liam Killeen (Specialized) makes a good comeback (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Great Britain's Liam Killeen returned to Elite level competition at September's Mountain Bike World Championships in Fort William, Scotland and will gradually work his way back into form over the coming months. Killeen was struck down for the majority of the 2007 season with a mysterious virus that had glandular fever like symptoms, despite blood work showing he was negative for the illness.

"I'm not going to jump back into a crazy race schedule now, with week in week out racing now," Killeen told "Obviously I have a bit of a plan between now to the middle of October. My focus now is on Beijing, that goal never went out of my mind when I was off, but if I want to get Beijing, I needed a bit of a rest the season before and that's happened now more by accident."

The 25 year-old's career had been making excellent progress up until this season. Killeen, from Malvern in England, has claimed the Under 23 World Cup on two occasions, won numerous rounds of the British national series and is the current Commonwealth Games champion, having taken victory in Melbourne last year.

"I'm looking forward to getting back into it all next year; I'm still enjoying it," he said. It's too hard a sport if you have no enjoyment in it. I've been lucky in my career that I've not had any illnesses or injuries up until now, I've had a good career so far, I'm still fairly young and I'm not planning on retiring just yet, I have a mortgage to pay!"

Killeen continued his comeback at the weekend's World Cup finale in Slovenia, where he finished some 10 minutes behind the event's winner in 35th place.

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