By Mark Etheridge
London Olympics cyclist Robyn de Groot has hit the brakes on competing at the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships in Italy later this month.
De Groot who switched from road biking to mountain biking post Olympics, and most successfully too, let it be said, has battled illness for some time now.
‘I’ve decided not to do world’s as I’m just not up to world standard right now,’ she candidly told Road to Rio 2016 on Wednesday.
‘It would be a waste of money, time and effort so I’m rather going to keep building up. I’m feeling a lot better and managed a three-day stage race this weekend without getting sick, so immunity is getting better.’
De Groot took part in the gruelling ABSA Cape Epic stage race earlier this year, only to discover that she had been suffering from the draining Coxsackie virus. ‘Doing Epic with that really put my health back and broke my immune system down so much. It’s really been a test of patience. A very elevated heart rate saw me achieve some new max heart rate readings during Epic… by something like 15 beats per minute which was pretty scary.’
As if the illness woes weren’t enough for the Ascendis Health rider, on top of that De Groot has also had to recover from a broken collarbone suffered after the Cape Epic.
De Groot was one of just two cyclists chosen to represent South Africa at world champs in Selva Val Gardena in the Dolomites mountain range, Max Knox being the other.
The men will tackle an 87km route and the women 60km.
Picture of De Groot in action, by Craig Dutton