Virus sidelines Rogers

Australia's Michael Rogers (Team High Road) has been diagnosed with Epstein-Barr-Virus, that will see the rider out of competition for at least eight weeks. The diagnosis, which will see the rider rest for at least four weeks, was confirmed by his American ProTour team's physicians as well as the rider's own independent physicians.

"Having expedited the same virus in 2001, I have the necessary knowledge of what required of me to get my health back to a level that will allow me to train and race at full intensity," said Rogers. "In the meantime I will rest as much as possible to give myself a fast turnaround."

Roger's agent, Paul DeGuyter, explained that they suspected something was wrong, after Rogers experienced trouble with training and racing. "Michael has not felt strong on the bike since last fall and has been struggling to train consistently with intensity," said DeGuyter. "While he is disappointed to not be racing, he is pleased that there is a confirmed and treatable medical reason for his difficulties.

"Michael can now focus on a speedy and complete recovery," he added. "He looks forward to regaining his competitive status and rejoining his team as soon as possible."

High Road Sport's owner Bob Stapleton was disappointed to hear of the diagnosis, but added that he'd glad his rider will be able to treat the problem and make a speedy return. "While we regret the loss of Michael from the team at the start of our European season, we are thankful that Michael's condition has been diagnosed and he can start on the road to recovery," said Stapleton. "We look forward to his return as soon as his health and fitness allow."

The 2005 Individual Time Trial World Champion's last victory was on the Rothaus Regio Tour's Stage 3 in 2006 while riding for T-Mobile. The 28 year-old was the virtual leader of last year's Tour de France before his Grand Tour campaign was brought to a close following a large crash.

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