stewart-ogradyFrom Associated Press, Monday 21 December 2009:

The Australian cyclist Stuart O’Grady has been diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia and could miss the Tour Down Under next month, race officials said Monday.

O’Grady was admitted to hospital after arriving in Adelaide from his home in Monaco last week. He was later discharged and doctors were expected to reassess his condition this week.

The Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur said it was extremely unlikely that O’Grady would be fit to ride. The race on 17-24 January will feature the seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, riding for his new RadioShack team, as well as Australia’s world road cycling champion Cadel Evans.

Turtur said doctors had ordered O’Grady to take a complete break in order to make a full recovery. “That being the case I think it would be a week or two before he could even think about going for a ride,” Turtur said. “He needs to get this knocked on the head.”

O’Grady, who has ridden the Tour de France since 1998 and finished second four times, is a member of Team Saxo Bank. He and Graeme Brown won a gold medal for Australia in the men’s madison at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

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