The 23-year-old was scheduled to race in the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race – as well as the Herald Sun Tour – but was forced to miss all of those after being hospitalised in January.

Doull has his appendix removed after it burst on the eve of the WorldTour beginning, and claims to have lost seven kilograms in bodyweight as a result of the illness, but is now set to return to action in this week's Abu Dhabi Tour.

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"I was throwing up and stuff for two or three days and I thought it was just a bit of stomach bug, and it died down for a while but then I woke up middle of night with a stabbing pain in my abdomen, and that's when we knew I needed to go to hospital straight away," he told Cyclingnews.

"I was lucky. We were close to a really good hospital, and had a really good doctor on the team, so it was diagnosed pretty quickly.

"Within an hour or so of it rupturing, I was on my way to the hospital and was operated on three or four hours later."

Doull rode for the British WorldTour outfit as a stagiaire at the end of last season, and spent much of the winter training in expectation of his debut in the Australian heat.

And the Welshman admitted to being affected by the illness, but was in philosophical mood ahead of finally making his debut at a first-year pro. "In terms of where I was at, it was frustrating," he added.

"It was taking a few steps back, and I'd worked pretty hard over the winter to be in a good place to start the year so that was a bit of a pain, but I guess better to have it now at the start of the year rather than the end of the year.

"It was pretty annoying to be honest but there's nothing you can do. There was nothing I did that made it happen, nothing the team did, it's just one of those things, it's completely out of your control so there's no point dwelling on it, I guess.

"It was frustrating, don't get me wrong - I was gutted at the time - but looking back now, you kind of just accept it and move on pretty quick."

Sportsbeat 2017

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