BMC doc blames virus, muscle inflammation for Hushovd’s poor season

Norwegian former world champ kept down by virus in 2012 season, but hopes to start building for 2013 soon

Thor Hushovd’s sub-par season came as a result of a virus and muscle inflammation, BMC Racing doctor Max Testa said Friday in a release. The former world champion recently underwent four days of testing at the Salt Lake City Health and Fitness Institute.

“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.”

Hushovd competed for BMC Racing less than three dozen times in his first season with the team. The Norwegian and another high-profile BMC signing, Philippe Gilbert, struggled to find fitness for much of the season and failed to show well in the spring classics. Hushovd abandoned the Giro d’Italia five days into the race and skipped the Tour de France and Olympic Games. He said he planned to return to a full training schedule in October.

“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.”