Tour de France champion Chris Froome has confirmed that he no longer has the parasitic disease, bilharzia. The 28-year-old had suffered from the condition, found in rural Africa, for several years before it was diagnosed through a blood scan ahead of his joining Team Sky for the 2010 season.
"At last I am free of the debilitating disease bilharzia," Froome told the Independent. "I had a test when I went back to Kenya recently and it is the first time it has come back negative since the diagnosis [in 2009]," he added.
"That is fantastic news for me. I'm not going to have to worry about that any more. That should be it gone now.
"I have been going back every six months for the past two years and returning positive results.
“When I was first diagnosed they said it had been in my system for at least two years, but it could have been there even longer, five or six years possibly."
Doctors had initially thought that the former Barloworld rider was suffering from mononucleosis until his condition, caused by a waterborne parasite, which deposits its larvae in the host’s bloodstream, was found.
Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford said last summer that the non-diagnosis of Froome’s illness, and subsequent management of it, may be one reason for Froome’s apparently rapid transformation from someone who finished 84th overall in his debut Tour in 2008 into a rider some belief will dominate the Tour for several years.
You can read Froome’s full interview with the Independent here.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.