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Road To 2012
Killeen: Back In 2010
Words And Photography By Luke Webber
Posted November 24 2009
Liam Killeen will race at the top level in 2010 - British XC Champion returning to World Cup circuit, despite reports of injury
Phil Dixon, British Cycling’s Olympic mountain bike coach has revealed that Liam Killeen will return to the top level of mountain bike racing in 2010 in preparation for the London Olympics – right now he is working toward being free of back problems before he turns to training in December..
Killeen, who has suffered from a recurring back injury in 2009 was said to be taking a year out to focus on making a full recovery, but talking in an interview reviewing the season of British Cycling Development Programmes for mountain bike, Dixon revealed that while specifics of Killeen’s immediate future were still unconfirmed, that the medium to long-term aims remained the same as ever.
“We will see Liam on a bike racing in 2010. We will see him at World Cup level, we will see him at Dalby Forest, Yorkshire for the opening round of the World Cup.”
Dixon continued to clarify the current situation – one which dispelled any rumours of Killeen joining the new professional road outfit, Team Sky.
“I’m in regular conversation with Liam and I had a meeting with him last week discussing 2010 plans; he has been released and is no longer part of the Trek team. Right now he is sorting out his job situation and taking some rest before he turns to training in December for his 2010 race season.”
For the past decade Killeen has been Britain’s hope of a mountain bike Olympic or World Championship medal in cross country, winning the under-23 World Cup in 2003, gold and bronze Commonwealth medals and seventh and fifth in two Olympic Games. However in 2007, Killeen suffered from a virus which led to a year out, coming back in 2008 to finish fourth in the World Championships.
2009 saw Killeen fail to break into the top ten of World Cup competition, but Dixon asserts that 2010 will be different for a number of reasons.
”Now he has a change of environment and at the moment he’s just putting that together and getting some time away. But he’s very focussed on next year so hopefully next year we will see an injury free and happier Liam Killeen. And if you get a happier Liam Killeen then good stuff will follow.”