Jani Brajkovič has posted an arresting picture of his leg muscles ahead of his return to racing after a difficult year.
The Slovenian posted a picture on Instragram showing his pumped up left leg and the image is striking.
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Brajkovič, 35, makes his return to the peloton on Tuesday (October 1) in the CRO Race, formerly the Tour of Croatia, after living with an eating disorder and serving a doping ban in the last year.
The top-10 finisher in the Tour de France and former Critérium du Dauphiné winner posted an emotional update on his website in August, revealing his long-running and ongoing struggle with bulimia, saying that eating disorders are ignored in professional cycling.
Brajkovič said he had kept his bulimia hidden, but a positive test in July 2018 was the decisive moment.
After testing positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine which was present in a dietary supplement, Brajkovič explained to the UCI that he had taken the contaminated product because the meal replacement powder he used was the only thing his bulimia would allow him to keep down.
Cycling’s governing body accepted his explanation, banning Brajkovič for 10 months and back-dating the suspension which ended on June 1, 2019.
Brajkovič said he was determined to return to racing having struggling to find a ride following his ban, only riding the Slovenian National Championships and the GP Kranj in Slovenia as an independent.
But he has now re-joined his former Continental team Adria Mobil and will race six-stage the CRO Race in Croatia.
Brajkovič posted the picture of his leg on Instagram on Sunday (September 29), with the caption “It’s only about not f***ing it up now.”
Adria Mobil confirmed Brajkovic’s return to the squad on Monday (September 30), with the rider saying: “I thank the Adria team for giving me another chance.
“I am entering the race with great expectations as I am well prepared.
“After the tests I can say I am better than the last few years. I hope for a good result, which will open the door for me for a new season, because I am determined to continue my career in the future.”
Brajkovič rode for Discovery Channel from 2005, going on to race in Astana, UnitedHealthcare and Bahrain-Merida colours, before joining Adria Mobil in 2018.