|Tech Features Road MTB Cyclocross Track News Photos Feedback|
- Drug testing
Olympic selection news for July 15
US MTB Team named
By John Alsedek, cyclingnews.com correspondent
In a teleconference earlier today, USA Cycling named the five U.S. cross-country MTB racers headed to Sydney for the 2000 Olympic Games. Three women - Alison Dunlap, Ruthie Matthes, and Ann Trombley - and two men - Travis Brown and David 'Tinker' Juarez - will be competing in what USA Cycling & Olympic Coach Stephane Girard characterizes as a course suiting this quintet: "It's technical, the race will be strategic, and we will be ready for that. Hopefully, one of our riders will get on the podium."
Of the five, four of whom interestingly are Colorado natives, the three women were fairly straightforward choices. Dunlap is a six-time U.S. National Champion in three different disciplines (cross-country, road race, and cyclo-cross), and also won the '99 Pan American gold; Matthes is a former MTB World Champion (1991) and a six-time worlds medalist; and Trombley, in just her first full season on the international circuit (up until this season, she split racing with her job as a physical therapist), has already catapulted to twelfth in the World Cup standings and won the Olympic Long Team qualifier race in March.
However, the two men's selections were rather more surprising. Brown had broken his tibia in March, and only resumed racing within the past month (in a case of lightning striking twice, Brown had missed a shot at the '96 Olympic team when he broke his collarbone in the last qualifying race). Fortunately for Brown, things worked out this time: "When I got the injury, it was a couple of weeks before I knew anything about it, but everything after the surgery was 'best case scenario'."
Juarez, too, didn't know whether he would be making his second Olympic team (he rode in Atlanta in '96) until the last minute: "I knew it would come down to me, Steve (Larsen), Travis (Brown), Greg Randolph....I was worried too much about how I was going to finish in the final qualifying race - it was very stressful." However, now that they've both made the team, things should fall into place: Brown should have plenty of time to recover fully, and will be well-rested; while Juarez, with nearly three decades of cycling experience behind him (he began racing BMX in 1973), knows as well as anyone how to prepare.
The 2000 Olympic MTB Cross-Country events will be held on September 23rd (women's) and 24th (men's).
Somarriba: Plouay suits me better than Sydney
Spanish Joane Somarriba says in her first interview after winning the women's Giro d'Italia that she considers her chances to be better in the World Championships in Plouay than in the Olympic race in Sydney. "The Sydney circuit is too flat and is more suitable for sprinters. The Plouay parcours is tougher and suits me better," she says. Another major goal for the season is the women's Tour de France in August.
Swiss track team selected
The Swiss Olympic Committee has selected Priska Doppmann, Nicole Brändli, Yvonne Schnorf, Franco Marvulli, Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart for the track events in Sydney.