National News Report from Australia - 6/2/96

Adapted from Rupert Guiness - The Australian - 6/2/96.

Wheels fall off as Australia loses World Cup event

Guiness writes that "Australia's polished image as an international track cycling power was tarnished yesterday when they lost their title as hosts of the opening round of the 1996 World Cup. The event, scheduled for March 29-31 at Adelaide's Superdrome, was cancelled due to lack of entries and the poor quality of the teams from the 10 nations who had entered."

"However, according to Australin Cycling Federation president, Ray Godkin, the blow is due to most top nations placing greater emphasis on training for the coming Olympic Games in Atlanta rather than making unnecessary long-haul travel."

Godkin was reported as saying that "Most of track cycling's strongest nations are concentrating on the Olympics. They are simply not making the World Cup a priority. While most will still compete in the four European rounds, it seems Australia is too far for them to travel to right now. Faced with this, we had no choice but to cancel the vent, It's a great pity." Godkin attended the UCI meeting last Sunday in Paris where the decision was made.

Guiness continued "the major absentees from the scheduled Adelaide round were the French and US teams. And from those teams which entered it appeared that Italy and Germany and even Australia were not going to field their top-billing pursuit endurance squads."

While the event has been officially cancelled as a World Cup round, top sprinting will still be seen in Adelaide. Top Australian pair, world champion Darryn Hill (from Western Australia) and Gary Neiwand (from Victoria) will meet German rivals, former world champion, Michael Hubner (who loves the rivalry with Neiwand) and reigning Olympic champion, Jens Fiedler.

Michael Turtor the local organiser (remember he was part of the 4 man OZ pursuit team which took Gold in the LA Olympics in 1984), says the World Cup event will be held in Adelaide in 1997 and he said that the UCI had a 5 year agreement with the South Australian government to hold the round. The cancellation was purely because of the Olympics. It is envisaged that the 1999 and 2000 rounds will be huge as riders seek to travel to OZ as dress rehearsals for the OG in 2000.

Guiness says that "in 1997, Australia is also scheduled to host the World Track Championships in Perth. It is hoped two rounds of the 1997 cup will be staged in Adelaide and Malaysia just before the world titles to make a longer trip more worthwhile for international teams."

Australian Road News

"The Australian road squad yesterday received confirmation of their accepted entry for the first international race of the year - the $600,000 Tour of Malaysia over 1500 km from March 1-10. Australia will be represented by two teams. The first will be an Australian Institute of Sport team led by Queenslander Brett Dennis and Victoria's Damien McDonald."

"The second - an official national team of riders preparing for this year's unaugural under-23 world titles - will include NSW's 1994 world junior ITT champion, Dean Rogers and Matt White.