While Australia's top time trialists Cadel Evans and triple world champion Michael Rogers will focus on the road race only in Mendrisio next week, Cameron Wurf will represent Down Under in the individual time trial in addition to Columbia-HTC's Adam Hansen.
The Fuji-Servetto rider revealed his potential on the world stage by finishing 26th in his first ProTour race, the Tour of Catalunya, in May - soon after he joined the Spanish squad. But since then he has experienced consistent illness and only recently learned that he had been suffering from mononucleosis - glandular fever - all along.
"On the final day of Catalyuna, I awoke with a sore throat which came and went with varying severity until four weeks ago, and from that point on my body seemed to be a magnet for any infection", Wurf told Cyclingnews.
"In the Dauphiné my throat was very painful. In the Tour of Austria I managed to get a chest infection. At the Tour of Poland it was an intestinal virus. And finally at the Eneco Tour I was down with a sinus infection. Though in crashes in Austria and Poland, I just thought it was a run of bad luck. Little did I know that the combination of racing with glandular virus had my system run down to the point that I was very susceptible to any infection.
"As an athlete, glandular is the last thing you want to imagine you have and I managed to convince myself at the beginning of each race I would finally come good again, but it just wouldn't happen. In the back of my mind I felt something was up as in all my years of sport I have never felt this off for such a long period, not being able to train or race properly."
Wurf was a rower and took part in the Athens Olympics until he switched to cycling in 2006.
"Being new to the ProTour, and after Catalyuna, I was so excited and determined to learn and improve that each day on the bike was a new opportunity and I could ignore the lingering ailments caused by the virus", he continued.
"Suffering simply became normal, the days when you feel great never came for me, so I hope when I am at full health again I will feel considerably better than I have been and the good days return.
"I always managed to convince the doctor I was ok and that it was just a bad day, however after a summer full of bad days a blood test showed I had been suffering from mononucleosis. 10 days later another test showed that the virus had now passed my system."
"During this period I've felt more sorry for my team. They have given me a huge opportunity this year and as much time as it was required to get better", Wurf added.
As well as Cadel Evans and Ivan Basso, the Tasmanian is personally coached by Aldo Sassi who promotes him as one of the biggest engines he has ever tested at the Mapei centre of Castellanza near Milan. The faith put in him by the coaches of Cycling Australia for the world championship is another indication that there is much more to be seen by Wurf.
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