|Tech Features Road MTB Cyclocross Track News Photos Feedback|
- Drug testing
Olympic news for September 6
Collinelli and Trentini out
Two members of the Italian track team, Andrea Collinelli and Mauro Trentini will miss the Olympic track events starting in 10 days time. The two tested positive for banned substances during the Italian track titles in July and were subsequently questioned by the anti-drug commission of CONI, the Italian Olympic Committee.
Head of the commission, Giacomo Aiello and his colleagues Patrizio Spinelli and Franco Cosenza made their final decision and this was confirmed by the FCI. The four member team pursuit is now: Adler Capelli, Cristiano Citton, Ivan Quaranta and Mario Benetton.
Collinelli and Trentini are being questioned on a separate matter relating to their posession of prohibited substances after they were seized at a Swiss-Italian border control.
Pantani and Fusi quell doubts
A potential internal feud amongst the Italian road team has threatened to blow up in the past few weeks as they make their final preparations for the Games. At the centre of the controversy is Marco Pantani who is considered to have "taken" the spot of Davide Rebellin, a rider very much in form at the moment. The other members, Michele Bartoli, Francesco Casagrande, and Paolo Bettini have shown themselves at the front in the Italian classics disputed in the past few weeks, while their sprinter Danilo Di Luca is riding reasonably well in Spain.
National coach, Antonio Fusi specified that the team has just one goal: to win the gold medal in Sydney. However, he said at a press conference in Oltrepò today that "I don't make the pretense that the athletes on the national team are friends. The important thing is that they constitute a winning group and come together. We are a strong team and we are aware of that. Our objective in Sydney is to win the gold medal".
Despite being better known as a stage racer, Marco Pantani remains calm that he will deliver the goods in Sydney. "This time I will try to give my best in a one day race," he said.
Michele Bartoli was quoted from his home in Tuscany that "a strong team has been formed. They [referring to the Tifosi] will talk a lot about it but the words are wasted. At the end they will forget everything if they see a medal."
German track rider, Jens Lehmann was injured yesterday in a training accident in Sydney's southern regions after an accident with a car. Lehmann was riding with teammates along Farnell Avenue in the Royal National Park when a car ran into the group, forcing Lehmann onto the bonnet and the windshield. Despite the impact, he was comparatively unhurt and was treated by his team doctor, Olaf Schumacher. His bike was "scrap metal" though and the incident is being investigated by Sutherland police.
Brad McGee back
Despite breaking his collarbone while training last week, Australian Olympic hope Brad McGee is back in the saddle with his colleagues in Rockhampton, Queensland. The accident last Thursday was a potential disaster for McGee, at just over two weeks out from the Games, but the 24 year old had a successful operation to insert a steel plate to stabilise the fracture.
He intends on riding both the individual and team's pursuit events, and described himself as "shocked" as to how well he has recovered. He started out on the home trainer, but has now been able to transfer to road training with his teammates.
Irish to Warrnambnool
Irish representatives, David McCann and Robin Seymour will contest this weekend's 275 kilometre Melbourne to Warrnambnool Classic, a 1.5 category event, in order to fine tune themselves for the Olympics. McCann is the Irish road champion, and Seymour is a mountain biker and will be the only Olympic representatives in the 122 rider field.
McCann will be up against the in form Australians Robert Tighello, Danny Clark, and Nathan Clarke in the world's second longest one day UCI event.
Olympic advice for travellers to Australia
You've just spent the best part of three weeks (or what feels like it) at high altitude in a water retention/disease propagating device known as an "aeroplane" and have made it onto Australian soil in one piece. Bikes and baggage? Well, they're probably out at Nar-Nar Goon somewhere but the nice man at customs assures you that you'll have them once the chaos of the Olympics dies down...
Then you are attacked by three crocodiles whilst trying to hail a cab and taken to your point of residence where people keep muttering "cobber", "blue" and "carnastanawordysayin". What gives? In such a harsh foreign land, you need help. The following should be all that you require.
Sydney: A visitor's guide
When in the water at Bondi, always be sure to wave enthusiastically to the lifeguard, so he'll know exactly where you are.
The tolls on the harbour bridge are voluntary. You should only contribute if the toll officer sings for you, or at the very least plays an instrument.
When visiting the top restaurant the Rockpool, be sure to joke with Neil Perry about how he lost his Good Food Guide hats last year. Neil is very relaxed about it, and finds the jokes "hilarious".
It is traditional to bargain with Sydney taxi drivers over the fare. On no account pay what is on the meter, as this will be sure to cause offence.
Before attempting the traditional climb of the Opera House sails, always remove your shoes.
Money lost at the Star City Casino is refundable at the end of the night. Just have a word to one of the kindly security guards.
You'll find Kerry Packer's luxury yacht, Arctic P, moored in the harbour. Just clamber aboard, as Kerry loves surprises.
The Olympic "Clearway" lanes are kept completely clear of traffic so as to provide cheap parking.
The monorail is no longer in service. The metal track, though, is now available to American visitors for rollerblading, or simple sunbaking.
When surfing at Bondi, do not be surprised if a hooter sounds and the swimmers around you head for the shore. This is a local custom to allow our visitors to have uncrowded enjoyment of the waves.....and if you happen to have a shark appear - they are very tame and love to be patted on the nose.
Sydneysiders love to hear constructive feedback especially if given with our favourite accent: British. If you can think of any way to improve our city - perhaps in your country you've found a better way to do something- tell the Sydneysiders you meet in as much detail as you can. They'll thank you for it.
Tourists crossing the Harbour Bridge will be pleased to know that Bureau de Change offices are installed in all lanes, where you can charge your home currency for Australian dollars. Feel free to haggle to get the best exchange rate.
Sydney has vibrant drinking houses and a lively tradition to match. Join in the fun by following a local custom - after every third drink, catch the eye of as many people as possible and call out loudly, "It's my shout!".
Parliament House is open to the public .....From the public Gallery it is possible to see one of Australia's finest actors, Robert Carr, perform in the role of Abraham Lincoln.
If sunburnt while in Sydney. A good remedy is to sleep naked between fresh bed sheets, which have had a hand full of Bondi sand sprinkled liberally between them.
While bathing in the Harbour remember that any Jelly Blubbers you may swim into can be used to beef up your bra or sluggo size. These do-it-yourself beauty enhancements come in many different sizes and colours and are GST free.
Keep an eye out for one of the hundreds of delightful creatures that decorate our beautiful beaches, The Blue Bottle. You'll have hours of fun picking these creatures up by the tail and swinging overhead.
Visitors to Sydney will notice a unique road service provided to assist tourists: special sightseer lanes on the Harbour Bridge and elsewhere, marked B-U-S, which stands for Banned Unless Sightseeing.
Don't worry about getting to the station early - Sydney trains always run on time.
The 'T" lane means Tourist Lane, so that Tourists can stop on the Harbour Bridge to look at the Opera House.
Small silver scooters are ubiquitous throughout the city and are provided free by the State Transit Authority....just approach someone riding one and ask them firmly to give up the scooter...they may protest...but don't be put off. You may need to physically wrest the scooter from the other rider.
Unless you have 'top cover' travel insurance, do not attempt to drive across the Harbour Bridge as the trip up and over the arch is extremely hazardous.
Should any visitors have any problems when travelling please call 9333 1000 where the large number of helpful staff will offer all advice and assistance.
Vegemite is a very mild flavoured chocolate for putting on bread. To fully appreciate it you should spread it at least 1 inch thick.
Most Australian families leave all their clothes at the front door ( a bit like the Japanese do with their shoes). If you are invited to an Aussies home, disrobe as soon as you enter the front door.
When a local says he's going to "shoot through" take it literally - and run for your life.
If you want to see kangaroos, stand on George Street at 5.05 pm and yell "cooee" five times - reminding them to come out of their burrows under the Queen Vic building.
'When visiting the Opera House - rows A to K are best for mobile phone reception and for flash photography....
The viewing windows from the Sydney Harbour Tunnel are open to the public outside peak hour. The best access is via the southbound tunnel: parking is provided at intervals along the tunnel.
Due to the huge number of international tourists visiting our city and touring around the countryside, the government has decided to temporarily amend the road rules. All tourists will be allowed to drive on the right side of the road until the end of the Olympics.
The locals at Bondi Beach have invented their own competition. So far Mark form Ireland has managed to consecutively hit 4 tennis balls directly onto the volleyball court from the beach. Anyone who beats this record will have their name recorded in the local newspaper's special Olympic edition.
Finally, "The Games" on ABC TV at 6pm weeknights is required viewing for all visitors.