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Olympic selection news for July 18
Lausberg's last chance
German kilometre time trial hope, Soren Lausberg had high hopes of making the Olympic team this year before an achilles tendon injury forced him to stop for two months. The injury occurred in late March while he was training with the German Track team in Mallorca, and he was thereafter written off as an Olympic prospect. However, his experience and talent in the event is valuable, having placed fourth in Atlanta, and he managed to recommence his training program.
Although previously only the World Championships were on themenu for Lausberg, his Olympic chances were given a last minute boost by the German Federation. It has set a date of July 27 for Lausberg to ride a time of 1.03.5 seconds for the 1,000 metres, their qualifying time for Sydney. He will try the time on the 285 metre track in Frenkfurt/Oder in the late afternoon.
Canadian Olympic road team announced
The seven riders for the Canadian Olympic road squad have been now after Sunday's Tim Hortons National Championships in Peterborough. Canada have a total of three women's and four men's spots available for Sydney although none are eligible for the time trial.
In the women's event, Geneviève Jeanson qualified herself by virtue of finishing 19th in the 119 kilometre road race, won by Vancouver's Sandy Espeseth. Jeanson had met the tough Canadian standard of finishing in the top eight in two World Cup or category one events so far this year, and had to keep an eye on the other eligible riders during the race. She did so, beating Lyne Bessette, Clara Hughes, Anne Samplonius and Annie Gariepy in the uphill sprint. The remaining two went to Clara Hughes and Lyne Bessette, it was announced today.
In the men's event, Mercury's Gord Fraser had already qualified for one of the four positions after being the top ranked Canadian this year. He finished second in the 224 kilometre road race to 36 year old Czezlaw Lukaszewicz, who rode extremely strongly to finish solo ahead of the field. Lukaszewicz, originally Polish, came to Canada in 1989 and rides for the Wüstenrot-ZVVZ squad and now has an automatic qualification for the Olympic team.
The remaining two men's spots went to time trial extraordinaire, Eric Wohlberg and Brian Walton.
Den Bakker says no to Sydney
Maarten den Bakker has cancelled his selection for the Olympic Games in Sydney. Union coach Gerrie Knetemann was not surprised by the decision. "I understand it completely. Maarten will do everything for the World Championships. And I also think it's nearly impossible to do both races well because of the jet lag and the ten days between the two events."
The final Dutch selection will be announced on August 8 by Knetemann.