Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven/NoTubes) will miss the US Mountain Bike Cross Country National Championships tomorrow because she is battling Lyme disease. She previously won the stars and stripes jersey in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008.
"Mary has come down with a case of Lyme disease due to a tick bite and we have returned home to Martha's Vineyard to recover," McConneloug's partner Mike Broderick told Cyclingnews.
"After struggling through a lot of pain and fatigue during the past weeks, we finally have a clear diagnosis. We are very happy to now be able to take the appropriate steps to get Mary healthy as soon as possible!"
Lyme disease gets its name from where it was first noticed in Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975. It is now present throughout much of the United States and is typically contracted in the late spring, summer and early fall when a person is bitten by a tick infected with one of several species of borrelia bacteria.
Fever, headache, fatigue, depression and a bull's eye rash are common symptoms of Lyme disease. If untreated or treated late, the joints, heart, and central nervous system may later be affected.
"We are very bummed that Mary is ill though we are very hopeful that the early detection will allow her a full recovery and a quick return to feeling good! She is currently in the early stages of antibiotics which is a tough time for her although she seems to be responding well."
The elite women will race the cross country national championships on Saturday at 12:30 pm in Sun Valley, Idaho.