WEDNESDAY 26 MARCH 2008: With trials for the 2008 Paralympic Cycling Team
now just three days away, Michael Milton has been forced to swap training
for bed rest and it seems unlikely he will be able to post a qualifying
time in Adelaide.
Milton, who was treated for Oesophagael Cancer last year, is recovering
from a massive operation to remove his oesophagus and most of his stomach.
Digestive problems and exhaustion still hamper his recovery.
'Every few weeks I seem to run out of steam and just have to give up
training and go to bed. It's a real setback every time and extremely
'Overall my health continues to improve and these "episodes" are becoming
less frequent but, on this occasion, my body's timing couldn't be worse,'
said a frustrated Milton.
He admits he is racing against time to qualify for the Australian cycling
'I wasn't realistically aiming to run a qualifier this weekend but who
knows what's possible when I'm feeling good. A week ago I was clocking some
unexpectedly fast laps during training and really looking forward to the
trials. Now I just want to feel well enough to get on the bike.
'There are two more scheduled trials in April and May. However, I believe I
wont be back to full fitness until July. That will be perfect timing for
the Games but too late to qualify,' Milton explained.
The dogged skier-turned-cyclist who competed in five winter Paralympic
Games and won 22 international medals (12 of them gold) set his sights on a
cycling spot almost two years ago and was on track for success when cancer
Cycling Australia and the Australian Paralympic Committee have applied to
the International Cycling Federation for a wildcard entry to the Paralympic
Games on Milton's behalf. This weekend he will learn if that bid was
Photo by Nancy Morrison: Milton pushes for the line to take second
place in a local criterium race in Canberra during March. With Australian
team trials now days away, Milton needs to regain his strength.