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August 29, 2004

Dream come true for silver medalist

It was nine years ago that a young volunteer working at a World Cup mountain bike race at Mont Ste-Anne, Que., became swept up in the emotion of the riders.

"I was looking at the girls and the feelings they seemed to have at the finish line," Marie-Helene Premont remembered with a smile. "All the effort they gave. That's what I wanted to do." Premont created her own excitement and enthusiasm Friday when she rode to a silver medal in the women's mountain bike race at the Olympics Games.

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Posted by at 01:42 AM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2004

Julien Absalon wins Men's Cross Country - Gold Medal - Cycling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Julien Absalon from France
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Jose Antonio Hermida from Spain
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Bart Brentjens from Netherlands

Posted by Darren at 10:50 PM | Comments (0)

Olympics Athlete Felled by Bee Sting

"Top News Bush Admits Iraq 'Miscalculations' in Times Interview Iraq Rebels Leave Najaf Shrine, Hand in Weapons Investigators Find Explosives in Russia Plane Wreck MORE ATHENS (Reuters) - Danish mountain biker Mette Andersen had to pull out of the women's Olympic cross country race Friday after being attacked by a bee. Anderson was stung on the second lap of the five-lap race and had a bad reaction, the whole of the left side of her chest swelling up."

Read more at Olympics Athlete Felled by Bee Sting

Posted by Darren at 12:50 AM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2004

Gunn-Rita Dahle takes Olympic gold in mountain bike

"Gunn-Rita Dahle of Norway captured the gold medal on Friday in the women's mountain bike competition at the Summer Olympics in Athens. Dahle, a winner of five World Cup cross-country events in 2004, covered the five-lap, 19.4 miles in 1 hour, 56:51 minutes. Marie-Helene Premont of Canada was second, 59 seconds behind Dahle. Sabine Spitz of Germany took the bronze."

Read more at Dahle takes Olympic gold in mountain bike

Posted by Darren at 09:02 PM | Comments (0)

The Australian: Aussie cyclists get belated gold [August 27, 2004]

"AUSTRALIAN track cyclists Peter Dawson and Stephen Wooldridge are to receive belated Olympic gold medals. The International Olympic Committee has agreed to give gold medals to the pair, who rode in the heats but missed out on the team which won the final of the 4000m team pursuit on Sunday.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) lodged an appeal for the medals and announced today the IOC had heeded its plea. In cycling team events only those who ride in the finals normally get medals, unlike swimming, where heat swimmers in relays are also rewarded. Wooldridge and Dawson were delighted when told of the decision by cycling team high performance manager Michael Flynn."

Read more at The Australian: Aussie cyclists get belated gold [August 27, 2004]

Posted by Darren at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

Gunn-Rita from Norway wins Women's Cross Country Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Gunn-Rita Dahle from Norway
The winner of the Silver Medal: Marie-Helene Permont from Canada
The winner of the Bronze Medal: Sabine Spitz from Germany

Posted by Darren at 07:32 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2004

Aussies dominate Olympic cycling with six golds

"Australia confirmed their status as the new force of world cycling after dominating the Athens Olympics with six gold medals, two of them on a memorable closing day's competition at the Velodrome.

Ryan Bayley clinched the sprint-keirin track double and Stuart O'Grady and Graeme Brown teamed for a dynamic victory in the 50km madison to round off Australia's greatest cycling performance at an Olympics.

In Wednesday's other gold medal, Russian Olga Slyusareva broke through for her first Olympic title at the age of 35 in the women's points race."

Read more at Aussies dominate Olympic cycling with six golds

Posted by Darren at 06:11 AM | Comments (0)

Wiggins claims third medal

Britain's Bradley Wiggins won his third cycling medal in Athens as he and Rob Hayles claimed a superb bronze medal in an eventful madison race.
Wiggins, who won the individual pursuit and took silver in the team pursuit, became the first Briton since 1964 to win three medals at one Games.

Hayles, who survived a crash with 90 laps to go, made up for missing a medal in a last-lap crash in Sydney in 2000.

Australia's Stuart O'Grady and Graeme Brown took gold and Switzerland silver.

Mary Rand was the last Briton to win three medals - in the long jump, the 4x100m relay and the pentathlon - at the 1964 Olympics in Toyko.

"It is still a bit unbelievable," Wiggins said. "I would have settled for just the first one.

The British public must think I'm an absolute idiot

Rob Hayles
"But I decided to go for three and I wouldn't have done that if I didn't think I had a chance of a medal."

"Perhaps after 10 pints tonight it might start to sink in a bit!"

Wiggins and Hayles, who also won a silver in the team pursuit, made a superb start to the 200-lap race, winning the opening sprint to pick up five points.

But Australia and Germany broke away early on to move a lap ahead of the field.

Wiggins picked up two points in the third sprint and another three on the fifth to leave the British pair in fourth place.

I thought, "Not again!"

Rob Hayles
But they courted disaster when Hayles collided with Dutch rider Robert Slippens with barely half the race gone and crashed to the track.

"The British public must think I'm an absolute idiot," Hayles said.

"But I knew as soon as I went down I was OK and it was just a question of getting my composure back and getting back on the bike."

Hayles bravely did just that but the Ukraine, Spain, New Zealand and Swiss teams all pulled a lap back to leave Britain in seventh place with 30 laps to go.

A lung-bursting charge from Wiggins saw the pair leap into second place as he caught the back of the field on a breakaway to regain the lost lap.

"When we hit them, we hit them hard," Hayles recalled.

The Swiss duo of Franco Marvulli and Bruno Risi won the ninth and penultimate sprint with 20 laps to go to join them in second place.

Britain's medal hopes appeared in jeapordy as O'Grady - with Australia already having secured the gold - appeared to block Hayles and Switzerland hit the front in the final sprint.

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But the 31-year-old - in bronze medal position four years ago before a crash heading into the final lap - kept his nerve to come home third and clinch a medal.

Australia finished with 22 points, with Switzerland scoring 15 and Britain 12.

O'Grady, 31, won his first gold medal in his fourth Olympics, to go with a silver in the team pursuit in 1992 and bronzes in the points race and team pursuit in Atlanta 1996.

It was Brown's second gold medal in Athens after helping Australia to victory in the team pursuit.

Australia also won the first-ever Olympic madison in Sydney, when Brett Aitken and Scott McGrory triumphed

Posted by at 05:50 AM | Comments (0)

Ryan Bayley wins Men's Keirin Gold Medal - Cycling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Ryan Bayley from Australia

The winner of the Silver Medal: Jose Escuredo from Spain

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Shane Kelly from Australia

Russian Wins Women's Points Race

"Russia's Olga Slyusareva added an Olympic gold medal to her collection of world championships, easily winning the points race Wednesday. The only American in the race, Erin Mirabella of Chula Vista, Calif., was fourth with 9 points - the best finish of her Olympic career.

Mirabella was 10th at the points race in Sydney four years ago, and placed 10th in the individual pursuit competition earlier at the Athens Games.

Slyusareva, the points race bronze medalist in 2000 and winner of four consecutive world titles in the event since, finished with 20 points. Belem Guerrero Mendez of Mexico was second with 14 points and Colombia's Maria Luisa Calle Williams was third with 12 points."

Read more atRussian Wins Women's Points Race

Posted by Darren at 01:09 AM | Comments (0)

Olga Slyusareva wins Women's Point Race Gold Medal - Cycling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Olga Slyusareva from Russia

The winner of the Silver Medal: Belem Guerrero Mendez from Mexico

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Maria Luisa Calle Williams from Colombia

August 25, 2004

Ryan Bayley wins Men's Sprint Gold Medal - Cycling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Ryan Bayley from Australia

The winner of the Silver Medal: Theo Bos from Netherlands

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Rene Wolff from Germany

Lori-Ann Muenzer wins Women's Sprint Gold Medal - Cycling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Lori-Ann Muenzer from Canada

The winner of the Silver Medal: Tamilla Abassova from Russia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Anna Meares from Australia

Mikhail Ingatyev wins Men's Point Race Gold Medal - Cycling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Mikhail Ingatyev from Russia

The winner of the Silver Medal: Joan Llaneras from Spain

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Guido Fulst from Germany

Muenzer wins cycling gold

CBC Sports: Canada's Muenzer wins cycling gold

Muenzer won 2-0 over Tamilla Abassova of Russia in the finals of the event at the Athens Olympic Velodrome.

In the first race, 38-year-old Muenzer trailed early but overtook Abassova in the final straightaway with an impressive push to take the 1-0 lead.

Posted by at 02:45 AM | Comments (0)

Another Canadian medal opportunity

Muenzer will ride for gold

Edmonton cyclist Lori-Ann Muenzer will race for gold later this morning after eliminating world champion Anna Meares of Australia in the Olympic women's sprint semifinal.

Meares held off a challenge from Muenzer to claim the first race. But Muenzer rallied with wins in the last two races in the best-of-three event. Muenzer took the lead after the first lap and fought off Meares to win race two. The Canadian rider was in control of race three from the outset, cruising to victory.

Posted by at 01:18 AM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2004

August 23, 2004

Sarah Ulmer wins Women's Individual Pursuit Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Sarah Ulmer from New Zealand

The winner of the Silver Medal: Katie Mactier from Australia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel from Netherlands

August 22, 2004

Ryan Bayley and Anna Meares lead Australia sprint charge

"Australians Ryan Bayley and Anna Meares have led the charge through the first round of the men's and women's cycling sprint heats at the Athens Olympics.

Bayley, a junk food fanatic who lists deep fried chicken as his favourite meal, clocked 10.177 seconds in his 200-metre burst for the line, just 0.037 seconds ahead of Dutchman Theo Bos.

The fastest qualifiers face the slowest in knock-out races from now until the final on Tuesday."

Read more at Bayley, Meares lead sprint charge - Athens Olympics 2004 - ABC Sport.

Posted by Darren at 09:49 PM | Comments (1)

August 21, 2004

Meares in 500m time trial gold triumph

"Australia's world champion Anna Meares produced a world record when it counted to stun her rivals and win the women's 500 metres time trial at the Athens Olympics overnight.

The 20-year-old Meares, riding last in the 12-strong field, trumped China's Jiang Yonghua's Olympic record in the previous ride only minutes earlier to claim gold in 33.952 seconds.

Not only did Meares get under that time but she even snatched Jiang's world record of 34:000 in the bargain."

Read more at Meares in 500m time trial gold triumph

Posted by Darren at 03:57 PM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2004

Tyler Hamilton wins time trial

American Tyler Hamilton made up for his disappointing Tour de France by surging to victory in the Olympic time trial.

Hamilton was only third after the first checkpoint but moved into the lead after 36km of the 48km course, coming home in 57 minutes and 31.74 seconds.

Read more at Tyler Hamilton wins time trial

Posted by Darren at 03:17 PM | Comments (0)

Nicole Cooke Vows to Learn Athens Lesson

"Nicole Cooke could ride in four or more Olympics but the pain of her first will always be with her.

After finishing just outside the medal placings in Sundays road race, the Welsh cyclist put herself through another half-hour of sun-baked agony in the time-trial today.

She finished a long way outside the medal placings and it was evident that the effort from Sunday had taken its toll on legs which only returned to competition in June after six months battling a knee injury.

While she came in 19th in the today, her fifth-place finish in the road race was a fine performance, especially for someone just two years into their professional career."

Read more at Cooke Vows to Learn Athens Lesson

Posted by Darren at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

U.S. Cycling Captures Three Medals

"Dede Barry showed the Americans the way to the medal stand Wednesday _ and that was just the start of an unprecedented cycling medal haul.

Tyler Hamilton won the men's time trial gold medal and teammate Bobby Julich took the bronze, hours after Barry won the women's time trial silver Wednesday. No other nation in the Olympics won more than two medals in the four road competitions.

"I believe we are one of the best cycling countries in the world, with Lance Armstrong winning the last six Tour de Frances and great results here today," Hamilton said. "It says a lot about U.S. cycling."

Hamilton edged defending men's time trial gold medalist Viatcheslav Ekimov of Russia by about 19 seconds, taking home the first American road gold since 1984 _ when Alexi Grewal won the road race in Los Angeles."

Read more at U.S. Cycling Captures Three Medals

Posted by Darren at 04:03 AM | Comments (0)

Tyler Hamilton wins Men's Time Trial - Cycling - Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Tyler Hamilton from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Vlatcheslav Ekimvov from Russia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Bobby Julich from United States

Posted by Darren at 01:24 AM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2004

Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel wins Women's Individual Time Trial - Cycling - Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel from Netherlands

The winner of the Silver Medal: Deidre Demet-Barray from United States

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Karin Thuerig from Switzerland

Posted by Darren at 11:01 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2004

German cyclist Judith Arndt livid over exclusion of lesbian lover

"German cyclist Judith Arndt says her finger gesture as she crossed the finish line in Sunday's women's road race was not directed at Australian winner Sara Carrigan, but against the exclusion of her live-in lesbian lover from the Olympic team.

Photographers caught Arndt raising a one-fingered salute after crossing the line behind Carrigan.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) took exception and fined Arndt 200 Swiss francs ($AU224).

The top-ranked German bristled during the post-race press conference over her cycling federation's refusal to nominate her girlfriend, Petra Rossner, for the Olympic road race."

Read more at German cyclist Arndt livid over exclusion of lesbian lover.

Posted by Darren at 11:04 PM | Comments (5)

U.S. Riders Have Disappointing Day

"After a disappointing first day of dressage competition, the U.S. Olympic equestrian three-day team pinned its hopes for an individual medal on two top riders competing Monday: John Williams of Middleburg, Va., and Kim Severson of Keene, Va.

Williams, riding Carrick, and Severson, on Winsome Adante, will try to improve on Sunday's dressage debut, which ended with mixed success for the Americans.

Darren Chiacchia of Ocala, Fla, sits fourth on Windfall 2 after scoring 44.6 penalty points.

"I'm very proud of him," Chiacchia said. "There are now two phases to go."

But the other Americans didn't fare so well."

Read more at U.S. Riders Have Disappointing Day

Posted by Darren at 03:17 AM | Comments (0)

Womens Road Race Result

Nicole Cook one of Britaina main Gold medal contenders was pushed into fith in the Womens Road Race

Britain's Nicole Cooke's bid for gold in the women's road race has been scuppered by Sara Carrigan.
The Australian broke clear in the dying minutes to take gold ahead of Germany's Judith Arndt, while Cooke had to make do with fifth place.

Source BBC Cooks gold bid dashed

Posted by at 02:45 AM | Comments (0)

Womens Road Race Result

Nicole Cook one of Britaina main Gold medal contenders was pushed into fith in the Womens Road Race

Britain's Nicole Cooke's bid for gold in the women's road race has been scuppered by Sara Carrigan.
The Australian broke clear in the dying minutes to take gold ahead of Germany's Judith Arndt, while Cooke had to make do with fifth place.

Source BBC Cooks gold bid dashed

Posted by at 02:45 AM | Comments (0)

Sara Carrigan Wins Women's Road Race Gold Medal - Cycling

Sara Carrigan has just won the Women's Road Race Gold medal in a close race from Silver Medal winner Judith Arndt.

The winner of the Gold Medal: Sara Carrigan from Australia

The winner of the Silver Medal: Judith Arndt from Germany

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Olga Slyusareva from Russia

Posted by Darren at 01:57 AM | Comments (1)

August 15, 2004

US Cycling Coach Fined for Water Violation

"An American cycling coach was fined Sunday for giving a bottle of water to a rider outside the approved area during the men's Olympic road race.

Jim Ochowicz, the men's Olympic road coach and the president of USA Cycling, was fined the equivalent of about $162 by the International Cycling Union. No rider was named or fined, officials said.

Temperatures topped 100 degrees on parts of the course Saturday, so race officials allowed team cars to pass water and food to riders over an expanded stretch of the course."

Read more at Cycling Coach Fined for Water Violation

Posted by Darren at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

Women's Individual Time Trial: Close encounter of the Olympic kind

"The Olympic Women's Individual Time Trial is shaping up as a close Cycling encounter between the Olympic champion Leontien ZIJLAARD-van MOORSEL (NED)andSpain'sJoanne SOMARRIBA, the 2003 world champion.

Other challengersforOlympic medalsinclude2003 world championshipsilver medallist Judith ARNDT (GER)and Zoulfia ZABIROVA (RUS), who took bronze;Karin THUERIG (SUI); and Nicole COOKE (GBR).

TheTime Trialwill take place on Wednesday, August 18 alonga24 kilometre coastal circuitfrom Vouliagmeni to Agia Marina."

Read more at Women's Individual Time Trial: Close encounter of the Olympic kind

Posted by Darren at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic cyclist's dad arrested over paint stunt

Olympic cyclist's dad arrested over paint stunt
"The father of a British Olympic cyclist was quizzed by Greek police after daubing her name in white paint on an Athens street.

Anthony Cooke used white spray paint to write his daughter Nicole's name but was spotted by a patrol and taken to a local police station.

He was following a cycling tradition where supporters encourage their favourite riders by writing their names on the road where they will race.

Nicole Cooke, 21, from Swansea, is a world champion and tipped to win Britain's first road-race gold in Athens, reports Sporting Life.

Greek police officers who saw the incident thought it was a case of graffiti by Mr Cooke, who is also Nicole's coach."

Posted by Darren at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

Nicole Cooke Aims for Road Race Gold

Cyclist Nicole Cooke will aim to win Great Britain's first Athens gold with victory in the women's road race.

The 21-year-old bounced back from injury to win the Tour of Italy during the build-up to the Games and will start as one of the favourites.

The women's road race begins at 1300 BST and will pass some of the city's great landmarks on an 8.3 mile lap.

Cooke and her rivals will complete nine laps and are expected to finish at 1630 BST after 75 miles in the saddle.

Read more at Cooke chases gold.

Posted by Darren at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

Axe chopped me down: McEwen

"Australia's Tour de France green jersey winner Robbie McEwen says he felt like his legs had been chopped off as he tried to sprint for the finish in the Olympic road race.

McEwen finished 11th in the 224km race in searing heat around Athens' ancient city when for once his legs couldn't respond in the final sprint.

"In a word, excruciating. Six hours in, I don't know how hot it was, it felt like 50, it was probably only 41," he said.

"It was just a really tough race with that climb 17 times.

"Normally you start to sprint and it's on automatic and you just go.

"I was literally having to push left and right and making my legs go around because when I started to go and tried to sprint it was like someone took an axe and chopped my legs off."

McEwen's teammate Stuart O'Grady called it the hardest one-day race of his life, with the 17 laps featuring a tough climb up the gruelling Lykavittos Hill."

Read more at Axe chopped me down: McEwen

Posted by Darren at 08:13 PM | Comments (0)

Paolo Bettini surges past Sergio Paulinho to win men's road race

"Stunning imagery was everywhere, from waves of riders speeding along a cobblestone street in the shadow of the Parthenon, fans waving flags from all corners of the globe, Olympic rings as far as the eye could see. Paolo Bettini had the best view of all: No one in front of him.

The gritty Italian swiped the lead from Portugal's Sergio Paulinho in the final 100 meters and won an Olympic road race Saturday that withered much of the field in temperatures that soared to 104 degrees.

Paulinho finished one second back and took the silver for his nation's first-ever Olympic cycling medal; Belgium's Axel Merckx, son of the cycling great Eddy Merckx, was another seven seconds back for bronze.

Bettini's winning time was 5 hours, 41 minutes, 44 seconds over the 139.4-mile course.

"Unless you're a step above everybody else like Bettini was today, it's a little bit like a lottery," said Tyler Hamilton, who finished 18th.

Paulinho, who would have been perhaps the most surprising road gold medalist in Olympic history, led much of the final lap around the 8.2-mile circuit and seemed to take control with a strong pass about a 400 meters from the finish.

Bettini, a former World Cup champion, charged right back and held on for Italy's first road-race gold since Fabio Casartelli won at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

"I thought at some point I would not make it. ... Ultimately, I started truly believing," Bettini said."

Italy's Paolo Bettini surges past Portugal's Sergio Paulinho to win men's road bicycle race

Posted by Darren at 05:51 PM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2004

Heat Forces Changes in Olympic Cycling

"Because of the excruciating heat under an unrelenting sun, Olympic cycling organizers allowed team cars to provide their riders with water during Saturday's road race.

With temperatures reaching 100 degrees on some stretches of the 8.2-mile course, organizers realized that having just one feed zone along the circuit was insufficient, and allowed team cars to give bottles to their riders, too".

Heat Forces Changes in Olympic Cycling

Posted by Darren at 11:24 PM | Comments (2)

World champion Igor Astarloa of Spain among victims of cycling road-race crash

"World champion Igor Astarloa of Spain and Dutch veteran Michael Boogerd were among four riders forced to abandon the Olympic road race Saturday after crashing badly on the opening lap.

Astarloa went down together with a small bunch of riders only a few minutes into the twisting, 139.4-mile course that circles 17 times through the narrow streets near the Parthenon and Greek Parliament buildings.

Colombian outsider Marlon Perez and Russia's Vladimir Karpets also were forced out of the race because of the early crash."

Read more at World champion Igor Astarloa of Spain among victims of cycling road-race crash .

Posted by Darren at 10:45 PM | Comments (0)

Jan Ullrich has 76-year-old road race record in sights

"Jan Ullrich will seek to salvage a frustrating season and equal a 76-year-old Olympic record by successfully defending his men's road race title at the Athens Games today.

The in-form Stuart O'Grady lead Australia's charge, which also includes Michael Rogers, Robbie McEwen, Baden Cooke and Matthew White.

The German, a towering figure in the sport for a decade, finished fourth in the Tour de France last month, failing to make the podium for the first time in seven years.

He looked out of sorts in last weekend's San Sebastian classic in Spain, the last major race before the Olympics, and even his T-mobile team coach has questioned his commitment.

But when Ullrich takes to the streets of Athens, in the shadow of the Acropolis, he will have a chance to turn his disappointment into gold.

"The Olympics are something really special for me," he said while training in Crete this week."

Read more at Ullrich has 76-year-old road race record in sights.

Posted by Darren at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)

Richard Virenque gunning for gold

"Richard Virenque would be delighted to put an end to a remarkable yet highly controversial career with an Olympic medal. "I have thought about it. It would be a great bonus. And if I took time off after the Tour de France, it was with that idea in mind," the French rider said.

Virenque made it to cycling record books last month by winning a record seventh King of the Mountains jersey on the Tour de France but might still remain in history as the sportsman which made EPO (erythropoietin) famous.

The Frenchman was kicked out of the Tour in 1998 with the rest of his Festina team after it was found EPO was systematically used by Virenque and his teammates."

Read more at Virenque gunning for gold

Posted by Darren at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

Van Moorsel finds life balance

"Somewhere along the way, Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel lost her sense of balance and almost fell off the edge of her life. You don't get far on a bike without balance. Two women's Tour de France titles and several world titles could not prevent a traumatic decline.

"I just stopped eating properly," she says.

The Dutchwoman's problems, however, probably stemmed from her extraordinary drive for cycling success.

"I was trying to keep my weight down for the mountain stages of the Tour while training as hard as I could," she says.

"And if you don't eat, you die."

That was in the early 1990s. Just 23, she shed a fifth of her body weight to 45 kg.

Her career, and perhaps her life, was to be salvaged by her meeting future husband Michael. He threw the scales out of the house and told her that yes, cycling was important, but that she counted for more."

Read more at Van Moorsel finds life balance

Posted by Darren at 04:22 PM | Comments (0)

Paolo Bettini - Olympic Contenders - Men's Road Race

"30 year old Bettini comes into the Olympic road race as one of the hot favourites. The Quick Step man is in scorching form, after winng the GP Citta di Camaiore with a well-timed attack and two second place finishes in consecutive World Cup Saturdays in the HEW-Cyclassics Cup in Hamburg and the San Sebastien Classic. However, evidently his luck looks to be wearing a bit thin in the big races. Nonetheless, 'Il Grillo' spearheads an Italian team united in one aim; to get him gold. With hardened riders like Cristian Moreni and Daniele Nardello, who can last the distance as well as the climbs, Bettini will have an expert team at his disposal. Moreni, Pozzato or Paolini (his personal domestique at Quick Step) could offer a good lead-out too, if it comes down to that. Still, Bettini is an aggressive rider and it may be that he will make the winning move. There is no doubting his excellent form and condition; now he 'just' has to convert it into victory."

Read more at Olympic Contenders - Men's Road Race.

Posted by Darren at 08:50 AM | Comments (0)

Tour De France Riders Go for Olympic Gold

"Less than a month after the conclusion of the Tour de France, many of that event's top performers will compete Saturday in the Olympic road race.

The biggest star of all, however, will not be among them.

Six-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong will skip these Games, but his American United Postal Service teammates George Hincapie and Bobby Julich will take part in Saturday's race.

Hincapie hopes to improve on his eighth-place finish in Sydney four years ago.

My goal here is to win a medal, he said. But it will be difficult. There are a lot of favorites."

Read more at Tour De France Riders Go for Olympic Gold

Posted by Darren at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2004

Stuart O'Grady - Olympic Contenders - Men's Road Race

"This year has been a welcome renaissance for O'Grady. After performing well early on in the year, he went to the Tour and took a stage victory in the pouring rain as part of the yellow-jersey producing break. The next day, after a crash wiped out some of his sprint rivals under the flamme rouge, he put on the green jersey and vyed for it all the way to Paris. He showed he's not afraid to attack and can last some climbs, although his form is evidently peaking after he outsprinted Paolo Bettini for HEW-Cyclassics victory recently. He should be a real challenger in a sprint. Teammates McEwen and Cooke are just as fast as 'Stuey', but it looks doubtful that they can survive the energy-sapping climbs the Athens course has to offer."

Read more at Olympic Contenders - Men's Road Race

Posted by Darren at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)

Alexandre Vinokourov - Olympic Contenders - Men's Road Race

"After his disastrous crash in the Tour of Switzerland, which resulted in T-Mobile having to pin their hopes squarely on Jan Ullrich's shoulders, Vino could yet make the injury a blessing rather than a curse. After recovering from his injury, the Kazakh trained hungrily whilst Armstrong smote his rivals in the mountains of the Tour. He showed his excellent form by taking out two stages of the Regio Tour and the overall - yet one of the stages saw him rocket out of the bunch on the flat, with the sprinters snapping at his heels, for victory. The Regio Tour also suggests he may have a helper who can keep up, as talented Andrei Kasheckhin showed his prowess with third overall.

Vinokourov is most feared for his deadly accelerations. As well as having an aggressive, unpredictable instinct, his speed in the attack is phenomenal, making it so difficult for rivals to take his wheel. Not only that, but he is no slouch in the sprint either. Blonde-haired Vinokourov will dearly be looking to avenge missing the Tour by taking victory here, going one step further from the silver he got in Sydney."

Read more at Olympic Contenders - Men's Road Race

Posted by Darren at 08:54 AM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2004

Alejandro Valverde and Team Spain - Olympic Contenders - Men's Road Race

"Valverde is one of the most precious talents in cycling, and a big-money move to an ambitious Pro Tour team is imminent in 2005, after sticking loyally by Kelme. Undeterred by the team's Division II status, he has made a habit of seemingly trying to win every Spanish race going - so far he's won a superb 14 times. His form is also great, having won three of the four Tour of Burgos stages, and - needless to say - the overall. Not only is he an astute time-trialist and a great climber, but his finishing-straight speed makes him as dangerous as Bettini - and he's only 24. However, the Spanish selectors have also picked Oscar Freire and Igor Astarloa, who both have similar talents to Valverde, in an attempt to re-produce a result similar to the Hamilton Worlds. If there are no leadership squabbles, that tactic should work to their advantage: there should be a Spaniard on the podium."

Read more at Olympic Contenders - Men's Road Race

Posted by Darren at 08:57 AM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2004

2004 Olympic Cycling - Overview of Road Cycling in Athens

"Once every four years, the road racing season takes on a new dimension - riders have the potential of an additional calendar item - the Olympic Games. You can be sure that since at least last year, they have had a special eye toward this season...they have had to perform well to gain a potential spot on their nation's team, without forgetting to carefully gauge their form for mid-August while they race through the regular season.

Now the selected athletes travel to an ancient and historic city, Athens, site of the first modern Olympics in 1896, and home to incredible works of architecture. This is the third time the city has hosted the modern Games.

Look for lots more this week on the selection process for Olympic cycling competitors, as well as additional articles profiling the favorites, a look at some of the countries' teams, start lists, not to mention race reports and standings."

Read more at 2004 Olympic Cycling - Overview of Road Cycling in Athens.

Posted by Darren at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2004

Oscar Camenzind quits afterEPOdisgrace

"Swiss cyclist Oscar Camenzind has retired after testing positive for EPO and being thrown out of the Olympics.

"I chose the stupidest of all methods to get results," admitted Camendzind, who has been sacked by his Phonak team.

Traces of EPO, a blood-boosting drug popular in endurance sports, were found in the 32-year-old's urine after a test conducted on July 22."

Read more at Camenzind quits afterEPOdisgrace

Posted by Darren at 09:27 PM | Comments (0)

Jobie Dajka Loses Doping Appeal

"Track cyclist Jobie Dajka has lost his appeal against his expulsion from Australia's Olympic team.

The ex-world keirin champion was taken off the team after being charged with bringing the sport into disrepute when he admitted lying to a doping inquiry.

Dajka appealed to the Sydney-based Court of Arbitration for Sport but it ruled on Monday the ban should stand. Furious Dajka said: "I'm probably the first to be ejected from an Olympics for taking a vitamin. It's a joke."

He added: "I will just have a month off and start again. It's what I live for. I've done nothing wrong.""

Read more at Cyclist Dajka loses appeal

Posted by Darren at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

Athens Alert: The British Are Coming!

"David Millar is a distant memory to some, but Team Great Britain Northern Ireland still has plenty of medals in sight when the Olympics kick off this Saturday. PEZ checks out the brave boys and girls who might just bring home a gold or two to Dear Old Blighty!

Plenty people reckoned that GBs hopes of winning any cycling medals began and ended with David Millar. But that just aint the case, because this team has talent coming out of its ears. Not only that, but great back-up, good team spirit and a clean racing ethos, too.

Roger Hammond has to be juiced for Greece, with a new contract with Discovery Channel for 05 and a podium at Roubaix.

The men have a quartet of guys who could do it on the day, but wont be big favourites Roger Hammond (national champ and future Discovery Channel colleague of Big Tex), Jeremy Hunt (ex-team-mate of Indurain, past GP Plouay winner), Charly Wegelius and Julian Winn. If they work together, who knows what might happen."

Read more at Athens Alert: The British Are Coming!.

Posted by Darren at 02:16 PM | Comments (0)

Jason Queally eyeing sprint gold

"Jason Queally concedes he is unlikely to defend his kilometre time-trial title in Athens and is instead expected to form part of Britain's sprint team.

World champion Chris Hoy and British record holder Craig McLean are tipped to be handed a shot at the 1km.

But the 34-year-old is set to go for gold in the team event along with Hoy, McLean and former BMX star Jamie Staff.

"That's how it looks," he said. "It's just great to be involved with a team that has the chance of more golds."

Unlike in Sydney, Queally will form part of a British squad packed with genuine medal contenders."

Read more at Queally eyeing sprint gold

Posted by Darren at 02:08 PM | Comments (0)

Australian Cycling Team - Strongest Ever

"Australian track cycling coach Martin Barras has declared that Australia's track team for Athens is the strongest force mustered for international competition in a velodrome.

With Australia seeking a record medal haul at the Games in cycling, Barras said the depth and talent of the team left him with no doubt it would surpass other great teams from the past 20 years, such as those from Germany and France.

From world 500metres time-trial champion Anna Meares and two-time world silver pursuit medallist Katie Mactier, to surging sprinter Ryan Bayley, who is in career-best form, and the triple world champion and world record-holding team pursuit riders - to name only a few from the team - Australia has cyclists capable of collecting medals in almost every track event."

Australia's team 'the strongest ever' - Cycling -

Posted by Darren at 01:41 PM | Comments (1)

August 09, 2004

Dajka appeal held over

"BANISHED Olympic cyclist Jobie Dajka will have to wait four more days to learn whether he has any chance of riding for Australia in Athens.

Dajka flew into Sydney from Frankfurt this morning for a scheduled 5pm hearing in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

But the hearing was postponed at the request of both sides less than two hours before it was due to start.

It will now be heard at 6pm (AEST) Monday.

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates took the decision to expel the 22-year-old Dajka from the Olympic team last week after Dajka admitted having lied about his use of syringes in Adelaide last year."

Read more at Dajka appeal held over.

Posted by Darren at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)

August 07, 2004

Doping casts cloud over Olympic Cycling

"Cycling and doping have been linked far too often this season-- all the more so because riders are seeking their four-yearly chance at Olympic glory. Only last week, mountain bike world champion Filip Meirhaeghe was forced to admit he took the endurance drug EPO for one last shot at glory.

"I only had one goal left in my career -- take gold at the Olympics," the Belgian, who won at silver medal at Sydney, said after a positive test. "I'm only human. I didn't want to fail."

And Meirhaeghe is not the only gold medal favorite who has departed in disgrace even before next Friday's opening ceremony.

On Wednesday, British world time-trial champion David Millar was given a two-year suspension by his cycling federation for a doping offense, and will likely lose his 2003 track time trial title, after the cyclist told a French judge he had used EPO. He voluntarily withdrew from the British Olympic team."

Continue reading - Doping casts cloud over sun-drenched Olympic cycling

Posted by Darren at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2004

Dajka appeal held over

"BANISHED Olympic cyclist Jobie Dajka will have to wait four more days to learn whether he has any chance of riding for Australia in Athens.

Dajka flew into Sydney from Frankfurt this morning for a scheduled 5pm hearing in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

But the hearing was postponed at the request of both sides less than two hours before it was due to start.

It will now be heard at 6pm (AEST) Monday.

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates took the decision to expel the 22-year-old Dajka from the Olympic team last week after Dajka admitted having lied about his use of syringes in Adelaide last year."

Read more at Dajka appeal held over.

Posted by Darren at 03:08 PM | Comments (0)

David Millar suspended for two years

"David Millar will be well rested for his next bike race.

The British Cycling Federation on Wednesday banned him from competition for two years for a doping offence.

Millar, who can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, also was fined $1,600 US and had his 2003 world-time trial title taken away by an independent disciplinary panel.

French police raided Millar's home in Biarritz, France, in late June as part of a doping investigation into his pro team, Cofidis, and found two used syringes."

Source - Cyclist Millar suspended two years

Posted by Darren at 10:32 AM | Comments (0)

August 04, 2004

Stars to Watch in Olympic Cycling

The BBC has this interesting article where they've picked four cycling stars to watch at the Athens Olympics.


After Lance Armstrong's decision to miss the Olympics, Ullrich immediately became the front-runner for gold at the Games.

The German has a sensational pedigree at the event. Four years ago he took silver in the time trial and was a surprise gold medal winner in the road race....


Bettini cemented his status as the most potent force in one-day racing by retaining his World Cup title last year.

The 30-year-old Italian was unable to win a stage at the Tour de France, but claimed three race victories on his way to World Cup glory.

Bettini, who was also crowned Italian champion, became a father just before the World Championships last September, where he finished fourth....


The Canadian mountain biker's medal quest in Sydney four years ago ended in disappointment when he finished 14th, having placed second at the world championships three months earlier.

But Green won the World Cup title and the world championships the following year - and was voted the world's second best cyclist behind Lance Armstrong.

He retained his world title in 2002 and won a Commonwealth gold medal in Manchester....


Clignet will be hoping to make a fairytale comeback in Athens at the age of 40 after deciding retirement was not for her.

The Chicago-born Frenchwoman has her sights set on a third Olympic medal after taking silver in the individual pursuit in Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000.

Clignet recovered from a bout of inflammatory arthritis to win world titles in the individual pursuit and the points race in 1999.'

Posted by Darren at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)

July 30, 2004

Jobie Dajka kicked off Australian Athens Olympic Team

Australian cyclist Jobie Dajka has just been told that he will not be going to the Athens Olympics after it is alleged that he lied to an Australian doping enquiry.

update - The ABC picks up the story and writes:

' Cyclist Jobie Dajka has been omitted from the Australian Olympic team after admitting he lied to a doping inquiry.

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates announced the decision this afternoon.

Dajka was questioned today by AOC director of sport Craig Phillips at the cycling team's training camp in Buettgen, Germany, after being accused of lying to the inquiry headed by retired Supreme Court judge Robert Anderson QC.

The inquiry was established to investigate doping allegations by former world junior champion Mark French who had been suspended from all competition for using a banned drug.'

Posted by Darren at 03:15 PM | Comments (1)

McEwan Will Compete in Road Race - despite broken Vertebra

"Australian cyclist Robbie McEwen will compete in the Athens Olympics despite suffering from two broken vertebra.

McEwen won the green jersey for best sprinter, despite suffering from a sore back since a fall on July 9."

Source - McEwan will ride on

Posted by Darren at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2004

Jobie Dajka gets a 'Please Explain' over Doping Allegations

'The Australian Olympic Committee is to interview cyclist Jobie Dajka after DNA evidence linked him with the doping affair involving team-mate Mark French.

A report from retired judge Robert Anderson said Dajka's DNA profile had been found on nine articles discovered in a needle waste bin in French's room.'

Read more at Dajka faces Athens ban.

Posted by Darren at 10:46 PM | Comments (0)

Filip Meirhaeghe Admits EPO Use

'Belgian mountain biking world champion Filip Meirhaeghe has pulled out of the Olympics after admitting testing positive for a banned substance.

The 33-year-old said he was quitting the sport after results showed he had taken the blood-boosting substance EPO.'

Read more at Meirhaeghe admits EPO use.

Posted by Darren at 10:44 PM | Comments (0)

Ben Kersten Could go Dutch - Cycling

"It's D-Day for Olympic hopeful Ben Kersten, but his manager Phill Bates fears another rejection by Cycling Australia (CA) could see the young cyclist quit representing his country.

Kersten will seek to be reinstated into the Olympic team for Athens when he fronts a three-member CA tribunal in Sydney on Thursday.

The panel will be headed by solicitor Brian Doyle, former NSW Minister for Sport Gabriel Harrison, and Kevin Nichols, who was member of the 1984 gold medal winning 4000m pursuit team in Los Angeles.

Bates, who has stepped aside from his role as a CA board member during the case, believes Kersten has a strong case, but acknowledges that Kersten could turn his back on Australian cycling if his appeal is dismissed.

"I don't know what his Dutch relations are, but I know (Dutch officials) would love to have him in the Dutch team. With (the name) Kersten, there is a Dutch link," Bates said.

"But Ben's pretty committed, I think he's committed to go on, but hopefully it will start with his selection tomorrow."" Source - Kersten could go Dutch

Posted by Darren at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2004

Sue Haywood Files Challenge to Olympic Omission

"Sue Haywood, a Wilmington native, filed a formal challenge Tuesday to an arbiter's ruling that gave Mary McConneloug the lone position on the U.S. women's Olympic mountain bike team for the Athens Games.

McConneloug was awarded the position last week when the arbiter overturned USA Cycling's decision to add 15 points to Haywood's total in international rankings.

The arbiter said the award of the additional points wasn't justified." - Source - Padua grad hopes to regain Olympic spot

Posted by Darren at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2004

Malaysia's Josiah Ng Recovering from Wrist Injury

"The track cycling competition in the Athens Olympics will be the first race in four months for Malaysia's Josiah Ng.

And on top of that, Josiah, who had a nasty fall in April that forced him out for six weeks, learned that he will have to face the biggest challenge of his career on a spare bike.

But having regained his full fitness and mobility in his wrist, Josiah feels he will be ready to face his rivals in next month's Olympics.

Josiah, who is the first Malaysian cyclist to qualify on merit for the Olympics, will have to rely on his French-made spare bike in the keirin and sprint competitions.

Josiah wrecked his competition bicycle in the April crash while training at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland and had to undergo surgery for a left wrist injury."

Read more at Josiah feels good after recovering from wrist surgery.

Posted by Darren at 11:48 PM | Comments (0)

Sean Eadie leaves for Athens

After an ongoing saga over doping allegations - Australian cyclist Sean Eadie has left for Europe where he will join his Aussie team mates in training for the Olympics.

"Cyclist Sean Eadie could not leave Australia yesterday without a couple of dramas at Sydney Airport. At least they were nothing to do with customs, his manager Kerry Ruffels joked, referring to its involvement in the doping allegation that Eadie beat last week.

Before Eadie, 35, took off for the track team's pre-Olympic camp in Buttgen, Germany, he was delayed for almost an hour while it was decided who would pay a $2000 bill for 32 kilograms of excess baggage. Qantas and Cycling Australia came to an arrangement, Ruffels said.

And then his news conference was brought to an abrupt halt by Ruffels when one question too many was asked about Eadie's rival Ben Kersten.

Before he was cut off, Eadie scotched any chance of taking part in a "ride off" for his spot, as suggested by the Kersten camp. Kersten was called up as a replacement for Eadie after initially missing selection, only to be dropped again when Eadie was cleared of trying to import banned human growth hormones by mail." Read more at Eadie breezes through customs and off to camp - Athens2004 -

In related news - its not just Sean Eadie who has left the country - but his family also. They are exhausted by the allegations surrounding their son and have decided to get away from the media frenzy surrounding them.

'Barry and Barbara Eadie are in Sweden with daughter Sherie, 17, the youngest member of the Australian team competing this week at the Global Games, for developmentally delayed athletes.' Source Eadie's Family Flees.

Posted by Darren at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2004

Todd Wells Qualifies for Olympic Mountain Bike

Todd Wells has qualified for the Mountain Mike event at the Athens Olympics.

'"Four years ago during the Sydney Summer Olympics, Todd Wells was a working stiff punching the clock for IBM in Tucson, Ariz.

He wanted to get back into mountain bike racing - something that he had done professionally for two years before he had gone back to finish college - but he hadn't been able to land a new sponsorship after his first stint in the pro ranks.

"At that time I wasn't riding my bike at all," Wells said. "The real work thing is pretty rough, though, so I decided to see if I could start racing again and get a job.""'

Read More at Vail Daily News for Vail and Beaver Creek Colorado - Sports.

Posted by Darren at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2004

Sean Eadie Cleared for Athens

Australian Olympic Cyclist Sean Eadie has been cleared of drug charges and will be allowed to compete in Athens.

'Sean Eadie, a cycling bronze medalist at the Sydney Games, won his appeal Monday after contesting a 5-year-old doping accusation and was expected to be placed on Australia's Olympic team.

The former world champion had been dropped from the team last week when the Australian Olympic Committee told Cycling Australia it would not allow him to compete in Athens.

"I'm very happy," Eadie said. "I'm looking forward to a relaxing night's sleep, which I haven't had in quite a while."' Read More at Star Aussie cyclist wins appeal.

Posted by Darren at 10:51 AM | Comments (1)

Technology behind the Tour de France

It is not directly Olympics related but this article at engadget gives a wonderful insight into the technology behind the Tour de France.


It will be similar stuff I'm sure to what will be used in Athens, particularly in the road race.

'Timing and scoring the Tour de France is an exacting and important task that mirrors the race itself. A team of skilled electronics operators in a mini-van loaded with a mobile computer network, chase the world�s greatest bicyclists around le Grande Boucle, sorting out split-second finishes marred by chaotic, and, sometimes, massive, crashes. International reputations, careers and millions of dollars are constantly on the line.'Read More

Posted by Darren at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2004

Chris Hoy

BBC - Road to Athens: Chris Hoy has a good introduction to British Cyclist, Chris Hoy.

Born: 23 March 1976, Edinburgh
Olympic results:
2000 team sprint silver
Other results:
2004 world 1km gold, team sprint bronze
2003 world team sprint bronze
2002 world 1km and team sprint gold
2002 Commonwealth 1km gold, team sprint bronze
2001 world team sprint bronze
2000 world team sprint silver
1999 world team sprint silver

Read Chris Hoy's Full Profile

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2004

US Mountain Biking Team in Holding Pattern

The US Mountain biking team is awaiting news from its international body to determine world rankings which will impact who is chosen to compete for the US in Athens.

'This much is certain: Sue Haywood and Mary McConneloug will be third and fourth in the world's women mountain biking rankings when the International Cycling Union updates its points standings.

What's uncertain, though, is what order they will be -- and an Olympic berth is riding on that.'U.S. Olympic cycling roster still undecided

Posted by Darren at 02:07 PM | Comments (0)

Alessandro Petacchi May Miss Olympics - Injury

'Top Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi has a cracked rib and is still suffering from a badly bruised shoulder, according to his Fassa Bortolo team doctor, and may miss out on next month's Olympics.

Petacchi sustained the injuries when he crashed in last Thursday's fifth stage of the Tour de France. He and fellow ace Italian sprinter Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) retired from the race on Friday.' Injuries may keep Petacchi from Games

Found via Tour de France Blog

Posted by Darren at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2004

Lance Armstrong Rules out Athens

Lance Armstrong has announced that he will not compete at the Athens Olympics.

Armstrong wants to spend more time with his children after the Tour de France in which he is currently aiming to win for the sixth time.

'"I've done the Olympics many times," said the American.

"If I don't have 100% motivation for something that's an important event, a very important event, then I don't want to take somebody else's spot."' Source - Armstrong rules out Athens

Posted by Darren at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)

Stuart Dangerfield Replaces David Miller

'Stuart Dangerfield has been called up to replace David Millar in Britain's Olympic team. Dangerfield was added to the team for the time trial after Millar pulled out because of the doping investigation into him and his Cofidis team.' Read More at - Dangerfield replaces Millar

Posted by Darren at 09:52 AM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2004

Nicole Cooke a Chance in Olympics Road Race

Gold Medalist, Christ Boardman, believes that current women's cyclist, Nicole Cooke, is a chance of a Gold Medal in the Women's Olympic Road Race in Athens.

'"Nicole's coming back into form after an injury-plagued season and her win in the women's road race was outstanding - she absolutely annihilated everybody.

"She was having problems but seems to have got it back together just in the nick of time," Boardman told BBC Sport.' Source - Boardman backs Cooke

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2004

Australian Cycling Drug Report to be Released

The report into a drug investigation into Australian Cycling will be released as soon as possible says Australian Sports Minister Rod Kemp.

'Retired West Australian Supreme Court Judge Robert Anderson has completed an inquiry into allegations made by cyclist Mark French, who was banned for life from representing Australia after he was found guilty of two charges involving trafficking of glucocorticosteroid.

In secret evidence to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, French implicated five other Olympic cyclists of injecting substances at the Australian Institute of Sport's Del Monte cycling headquarters in Adelaide.

Federal Sports Minister Rod Kemp said lawyers were reviewing privacy and legal issues, but he expected the report would be publicly released before the Olympic Games started in Athens next month.' From - Cycling drugs report to be released

Posted by Darren at 08:04 PM | Comments (0)

Australia criticized for Drug Report Secrecy

Australia has been heavily criticized by Dick Pound, World Anti-Doping president and an IOC committee member, for keeping the report from an investigation into drug allegations in Australian Cycling secret.

'Pound said keeping the results of investigations secret is not conducive to public confidence in the process or the sport.

And WADA is threatening to write to federal sports minister Rod Kemp in a bid to force the release of the investigation into alleged drug use by Australian cyclists.' Source - Drugs secrecy warning

Posted by Darren at 12:42 PM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2004

Athens Olympics US Cycling Team Announced

USA Cycling Press Release - USA Cycling announced today the team that will represent the United States in the discipline of road cycling at this summer's Olympic Games in Athens. After securing the maximum start positions in both men's and women's road cycling, USA Cycling will be sending a mix of accomplished veterans and talented newcomers to Athens. Five men and three women will contest the road race, while two men and two women will also compete in the time trial.

Leading the men's roster is five-time Tour de France winner and 2000 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Lance Armstrong (Austin, Texas). Armstrong's well-documented career as a cancer survivor and cycling champion includes countless accomplishments and accolades but doesn't include Olympic Gold, a feat he'll try to achieve in his fourth Olympic Games. Currently, Armstrong is engaged in a quest to become the first-ever six-time winner of the Tour de France, but will soon turn his focus towards Athens.

Joining Armstrong is 2000 Olympian and top European-based pro, Tyler Hamilton (Marblehead, Mass.). A steadily improving rider, Hamilton became a household name after finishing fourth overall in the Tour de France last year despite suffering a broken collarbone in the first stage. A stage win in the 2003 Tour, along with convincing wins in the 2003 Li�ge-Bastogne-Li�ge World Cup and back-to-back wins in the Tour de Romandie in 2003 and 2004 signify Hamilton's arrival as an Olympic medal contender. Currently, Hamilton is considered one of Armstrong's biggest threats to unseat him of his Tour de France glory, but come August the two will form a strong one-two punch as teammates on the U.S. Team.

George Hincapie (Greenville, S.C.), often regarded as the faithful lieutenant of Armstrong on the U.S. Postal Team, returns to represent the U.S. in his fourth Olympic Games. Hincapie's addition to the squad came as a result of a fifth place overall finish at the Paris-Nice stage race earlier this year, a tough multi-day event in France. Hincapie's presence and talents as a one-day specialist and dependable support rider along with his prowess as a formidable sprinter gives the U.S. team another card to play in a traditionally unpredictable race.

Joining the three Olympic veterans is first-time Olympian, Bobby Julich (Corpus Christi, Texas). Julich rose to stardom in 1998 when he finished third overall in the Tour de France, one year before the rise of Armstrong. After modest results over the next few years, Julich returned to the spotlight in 2004 after making a move to the Danish-based CSC Pro Cycling Team. The move proved ideal for Julich after placing third overall at Paris-Nice securing him a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, and winning a stage at the Vuelta a Pais Basco, a major international stage race in Spain. Julich's presence on the Olympic team completes a solid roster of proven pros with serious medal potential in Athens.

Rounding out the men's roster is Jason McCartney (Coralville, Iowa). McCartney burst onto the global scene earlier this season after winning a stage in the Tour de Georgia, an impressive result that came against a strong field of top international competitors. McCartney's spot on the team came as a result of a win at the pressure-filled Team USA Selection Race last month. A solo breakaway in the race's final 20km sealed the deal for McCartney against a stacked field of the most talented domestic-based professional riders.

The three-woman team that will compete in Athens features all first-time Olympians. Despite her long career as one of the most successful riders in the peloton, Dede Barry (Boulder, Colo.) makes her first Olympic Team as the top-ranked American rider in the international rankings, ranked 15th in the world. After missing out on the 2000 Olympic Team, Barry retired from professional cycling but later returned to competition with renewed focus towards 2004. Barry's aggressive style and strength as a tenacious all-around rider complements her presence as a tactically savvy and experienced veteran.

Joining Barry is her teammate on the T-Mobile Professional Cycling Team, Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho). Armstrong earned a spot on the team after riding to a win in the USCF Elite National Championships last month. The first-time National Champion has steadily progressed through the ranks of professional cycling by achieving consistent results in some of the world's most prestigious events.

Completing the women's team is USCF Elite National Time Trial Champion, Christine Thorburn (Davenport, Iowa). Thorburn was a surprise victor at last month's nationals to upset a strong field and earn a spot on the Olympic Team. Like Armstrong, Thorburn has experienced steady progression throughout the last year that began with a spot on the U.S. National Team at the 2003 world championships. Since then, she has become a marked rider in the U.S. peloton. Together, the three riders will combine to form an experienced and eager squad with medal potential.

"This is definitely one of the strongest, if not the strongest, Olympic road teams ever assembled by the U.S.," commented USA Cycling CEO Gerard Bisceglia. "Guys like Lance, Tyler, George and Bobby are at the height of their careers and could very well be competing in their last Olympics. Their experience and talent, along with their hunger for Olympic success will hopefully translate into medals. The women's squad is also on par with the rest of the world in terms of talent and experience. On paper it looks as though we can have a successful Olympics across the board when it comes to the road race and time trials."

From these nominations, two men and two women will also contest the time trial in Athens. The announcement as to which of these riders will compete in the time trial will be made at a later date.

With the earlier announcement of the athletes that will represent the United States in Athens on the velodrome in the discipline of track cycling, Tuesday's naming of the road squad means that only the three nominations for the mountain bike team remain. The U.S. will name the three mountain bike athletes (one woman and two men), on July 13 following the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships this weekend in Bad Goisern, Austria.

2004 U.S. Olympic Team Road Cycling Roster
Lance Armstrong (Austin, Texas)
Tyler Hamilton (Marblehead, Mass.)
George Hincapie (Greenville, S.C.)
Bobby Julich (Corpus Christi, Texas)
Jason McCartney (Coralville, Iowa)

Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho)
Dede Barry (Boulder, Colo.)
Christine Thorburn (Davenport, Iowa)

Posted by Darren at 09:30 AM | Comments (0)

July 06, 2004

Genevieve Jeanson's Struggle Towards Athens

CBC has an interesting article on Canadian Cyclist Genevieve Jeanson's preparation for the Athens Olympics. Jeanson has been surrounded by drug controversies for some time now and it seems that it is taking its toll on her.

'Genevieve Jeanson's signature move is a powerful attack during a difficult patch, which typically leaves the pack struggling through an uphill stretch while the gifted Quebecker climbs effortlessly into a lead.

But for the past year, Jeanson has spent much of her time on the defensive, unable to leave a string of controversies in her wake.

The 22-year-old "Machine from Lachine" has been shelled with questions, accusations and innuendoes since she was barred from racing at last October's world championships in Hamilton, Ont. for an excessively high red blood cell count...' Read More at - Jeanson can�t outrace her skeptics

Posted by Darren at 04:05 PM | Comments (0)

Chris Boardman Confident of Golden Haul

Expert adviser to the British Cycling team, Chris Boardman, is hoping for a big medal haul at the Athens Olympics.

'"Our prospects are even better than they were at Sydney - and we did pretty well there," he told BBC Sport.

"We have somebody in virtually every event that is a genuine medal prospect and I don't think there is any other sport that can say that."

Four years ago Britain's cyclists returned as one of the success stories of Team GB's Olympic campaign.

They boasted a gold medal, a silver and two bronze, a whole series of personal best performances and two unlucky fourth-place finishes.

But more significantly, they have since built on that success, finishing third in the medal table at the recent Track Cycling World Championships with two golds, a bronze and a silver.' Source - Boardman hopes for GB haul

Posted by Darren at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2004

Matt White Crashes in Athens Lead up

Austratlian Cyclist, Matt White, is still confident of competing at the Athens Olympics despite his crash in the warm up just before starting the Tour de France. White broke his arm in the crash.

'White's Tour ended before it began on Saturday when he crashed heavily while warming up for the 6.1km prologue time trial. He had four stitches in his face and broke his right collarbone.

"I have six weeks and am in perfect condition," said the NSW rider.

White said he would pull out of the Australian team if he felt his recovery was not succeeding and his form in races was sub-standard.

"If I am not ready I won't go to the Olympics," said White who competed in the Sydney Olympics.

"We have the [Olympic] reserves here on the Tour who know what they would have to do to help the team were one to take my place."' Source - Crash ends Tour dream

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2004

Australian Cyclists Still under Suspicion

Suspicion continues to hang over the Australian cycling track team in the lead up to the Athens Olympics after parts of the latest drug enquiry were made public.

'Disgraced cyclist Mark French told Channel Nine's 60 Minutes that former world champions Sean Eadie and Shane Kelly had introduced him to banned substance Testicom in Germany last year.

The 19-year-old former junior world champion also named Eadie as the teammate who'd introduced him to injecting legal vitamins at the Australian Institute of Sport base in Adelaide.

But the most potentially damaging information to emerge from the 60 Minutes story on the French affair involved Olympic gold medal hope Jobie Dajka.

60 Minutes revealed sections of former West Australian Supreme Court judge Robert Anderson's report on his investigation into claims made by French against nominated Olympic team riders Kelly, Eadie, Dajka, Graeme Brown and Brett Lancaster.' Source - Fresh cloud over cyclists

Posted by Darren at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2004

5 Cleared Cyclists Speak Out

The five Australia cyclists caught up in the drug controversy after testimony by Mark French have spoken out after being cleared of all charges in an independent enquiry.

'Shane Kelly, Sean Eadie and Jobie Dajka, three of the five riders under investigations after disgraced cyclist French said they injected legal vitamins, spoke out for the first time in Rockhampton today with all three claiming they were clean and were ready to put the controversy behind them.

Reading a statement on behalf of the cycling sprint team Shane Kelly, who will contest his fourth Olympics in Athens, said they were all upset with what had gone on over the past couple of weeks with the accusations and allegations very hard to deal with.' Source - Olympic cyclists back on track

Posted by Darren at 11:09 PM | Comments (1)

Australian Cyclists Cleared

News has just been released that the five cyclists accused by fellow team member Mark French of drug use will be cleared.

'The investigation into allegations made by suspended track sprinter, Mark French, that five other cyclists at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) used his room for injecting a range of unidentified substances has cleared the riders and is said to be "absolutely damning" of the teenage rider's earlier testimony.

A source close to the investigation told Cyclingnews that the report "Places a very large question-mark over his (French) evidence".

It appears there is nothing to support the exclusion of any of the riders nominated today by Cycling Australia to represent the country at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.'Source - Anderson report clears named riders

Posted by Darren at 05:05 PM | Comments (0)

July 02, 2004

Australian Cycling Team Announced

Australia has names a strong Cycling squad of 25 members for the Athens Olympic Games. However up to 5 of this squad are still waiting to hear if they will be cleared from drug investigations.

'Former world champions Graeme Brown, Sean Eadie, Jobie Dajka, Shane Kelly and Brett Lancaster were named by banned cyclist Mark French during his drugs hearing.

French said they had injected themselves with what he believed to be legal substances in his room at the track cycling headquarters in Adelaide.

The nominations were announced today just as retired judge Robert Anderson QC was handing his report on French's allegations to various peak sporting bodies in Canberra.'

The Australian Olympic Cycling Team heading to the Athens Games is:

'Mountain bike cross-country � men: Chris Jongewaard, Sid Taberlay; women: Lisa Mathison.

Road � men: Baden Cooke, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Michael Rogers, Matthew White; women: Sara Carrigan, Olivia Gollan, Oenone Wood.

Track � men: Ryan Bayley, Graeme Brown, Jobie Dajka, Peter Dawson, Sean Eadie, Shane Kelly, Brett Lancaster, Bradley McGee, Mark Renshaw, Luke Roberts, Stephen Wooldridge; women: Kate Bates, Katie Mactier, Anna Meares.' Source - Infamous five named for Athens

Posted by Darren at 10:36 PM | Comments (0)

David Millar Out of Athens Olympics

British Cyclis, David Millar, is out of the Ahtens Olympics after admitting to taking EPO.

'Millar had already been suspended from competition by British Cycling after being placed under investigation for possession of banned substances.

And he had also been banned from taking part in this year's Tour de France, which starts on Saturday.

Millar had hoped to compete in the time-trial, road race and team pursuit in next month's Games in Athens.'

Source - Millar out of Olympics

Posted by Darren at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2004

Julian Winn Shrugs off Injury

Welsh cyclist Julian Winn is confident that his knee injury will not hold him back from performing well at the Olympic Games.

'He suffered tendon damage in a crash in Serbia earlier this month and the injury cut short his challenge at the British Road Race on Sunday....

"It's a race against time but not an emergency. One thing I'm good at is getting myself in shape in a short space of time."'

Source - Winn shrugs off injury

Posted by Darren at 08:07 PM | Comments (0)

Kersten's Olympic dream in tatters

BEN Kersten's Athens Olympics hopes are all but over after Sean Eadie yesterday rode under the qualifying time for the team sprint for the Games.

Source - Cycling - Kersten's Olympic dream in tatters

Posted by Regan at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

ISSI to decide between Uyun and Santia for Olympics

Indonesia was assured another slot in the 2004 Olympic Games when the Indonesian Cycling Association (ISSI) received confirmation of the wildcard from its regional counterpart.

Source - Cycling - ISSI to decide between Uyun and Santia for Olympics

Posted by Regan at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

Scanlon and Power get the nod for Olympics

Cycling Ireland today officially announced that Mark Scanlon and Ciar�n Power are to represent Ireland in the Olympic road race event in Athens on August 14.

Source - Cycling - Scanlon and Power get the nod for Olympics

Posted by Regan at 10:44 AM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2004

Alison Sydor - Mountain Biker

Canada's CBC has a great feature article on Mountain Bike champion - Alison Sydor.

'Sometimes being ranked first in the world during an Olympic year means you're looking over your shoulder as much as looking forward.

Certainly, reeling off a string of victories during the run-up to the Games doesn't give an athlete a free pass to a gold medal.

Through the brief history of Olympic mountain biking � the first medals were handed out in 1996 � the pressure to win the gold medal seemed to sandbag the heavy favourites, as Canadian mountain biking legend Alison Sydor knows all too well.'

Read More - Alison Sydor: Favourites beware

Posted by Darren at 07:17 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2004

Australian Cycling Team Drug Enquiry

The Australian government today announced an independent inquiry into doping allegations in the Australian Cycling team in the lead up to this year's Athen's Olympics.

'Australia's build-up to the Athens Olympics in August has been overshadowed by allegations that a group of elite cyclists used a room at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) as a "shooting gallery" to inject themselves with performance-enhancing drugs. Cycling Australia has said there was no evidence to substantiate the claims but agreed to co-operate with an investigation.'

Source - Aussies take action over doping

Posted by Darren at 07:38 PM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2004

Athens Olympics Cycling Events and Results

Athens Olympic Cycling

cycling.gifCycling at the Athens Olympics covers a broad range of events and disciplines including Mountain Bike, Road Cycling and Track Cycling.

Germany, Italy, Australia and Britain all look to have strong teams this Olympics and should feature in the Medal Tally for Cycling.

All Olympics Cycling Events Results will be updated below as they come to hand. In the mean time keep up to date with the latest Cycling news in our Cycling News Archives.

Track Cycling Events

Olympic Track Cycling events will be held at the Olympic Velodrome between 20th - 25th August.

Men's Track Cycling Events
- Men's 1km Individual Time Trial
- Men's Sprint
- Men's Individual Pursuit
- Men's Team Pursuit
- Men's Point Race - Men's Madison
- Men's Keirin
- Men's Team Sprint
- Men's Individual Time Trial

Women's Track Cycling Events
- Women's Sprint
- Women's Individual Pursuit
- Women's 500m Individual Time Trial
- Women's Point Race
- Women's Individual Time Trial

Road Race Cycling Events

Olympic Road Racing will take place between 14th - 18th August in two events. The Road Race is to be held in the historical centre of Athens and the Individual Time Trial will be held at the Vouliagmeni Olympic Centre. Each event will be held with both men and women with a total of four Gold Medals up for Grabs in Road Racing. Get results and medals at Women's Individual Road Race Results and Medals and Men's Individual Road Race Results and Medals.

Mountain Bike Events

Mountain Biking events in Athens will take place on 27th - 28th August at the Parnitha Olympic Mountain Bike Venue. It is a cross country ride with a Gold Medal up for grabs in both Men's Cross Country and Women's Cross Country Competition.

Related Olympic Cycling Sites

CBC: Olympic Cycling
BBC: Cycling
NBC: Cycling
Athens News Agency: Cycling
Fox Sports: Olympic Cycling

Mountain - Belgium's Filip Meirhaeghe and Norway's Gunn-Rita Dahle will be heavily favored to win individual medals. Canada has probably the best depth top-to-bottom in the women's field. The United States is sending only one woman's rider to Athens. Road - American men's side will be without Lance Armstrong, who declined an invitation. Track - France, Britain and Australia each won five medals at this year's world championships. And the Russian women, led by Olga Slyusareva and Svetlana Grankovskaya, figure to be strong; 2000 sprint gold winner Marty Nothstein is the lone returning medalist for the United States.

Posted by Darren at 04:15 PM | Comments (22)

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