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The current time in Athens is 16:49 on September 30, 2023
Olympic Cycling News for August 12, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones
Ullrich to miss opening ceremony
German Olympic road race champion Jan Ullrich will skip the opening ceremony on Friday night in order to rest up for Saturday's road race. "Unfortunately I must forego the experience," he wrote in his diary on janullrich.de. "The road race is on August 14, the first day of competition. I have to be fully fit there. I can't permit myself to have a long night."
Ullrich won a gold and a silver medal in Sydney in 2000, and will try to repeat or even better that performance. "I have two chances to make the victory podium," he wrote. "The Olympics is completely special for me. When I won in Sydney and thought that a billion or more people were sitting and watching it in front of the TV, I had goose pimples down my spine."
Dutch ride the course
The Dutch road team trained on the Athens course on Wednesday to get a feel for it before the weekend's road races. Erik Dekker did just two laps of the 13 km circuit before dropping out. "This morning, we trained seriously," he joked to ANP. However, Dekker has already done his homework, riding the parcours last winter. "Then, with all the traffic, it was a little bit longer. It's a tough circuit, without any place to rest. It's not the climb that will make it hard, but the whole thing."
Dekker's counterpart in the women's team, Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel, believes that despite the toughness of the parcours, the men's race will end in a bunch sprint. "But for us, definitely not," she said.
Athens track slow, according to Kiwis
New Zealand's High Performance manager Warren Lister believes that the Athens velodrome will not be conducive to setting world records. Lister commented to Nzcity.co.nz that the partially enclosed velodrome will be windy, which will slow things down. However, he pointed out that the conditions would be the same for everyone, thus no-one should be disadvantaged.
The nine members of the New Zealand track team are currently training in France due to the congestion on the Olympic track at the moment. They plan to arrive in Athens early next week to prepare for the track events that start on August 20.
Australian Paralympic team named
A team of 11 cyclists has been chosen to represent Australia at the Paralympic Games in Athens. The Australian Paralympic Committee, following the completion of an appeals process, has announced the squad of four women and seven men. Members of the squad are Janet Shaw (Kellie McCombie, Pilot), Lindy Hou (Toireasa Ryan/Janelle Lindsay, Pilots), Mark LeFlohic, Claire McLean, Greg Ball, Christopher Scott, Peter Homann, Andrew Panazzolo, Peter Brooks, Anthony Biddle (Kial Stewart, Pilot), Lyn Lepore (Jenny McPherson, Pilot).
The APC, in its statement, said some great past and prospective riders had missed an opportunity to participate in Athens because Australia was offered only 11 slots instead of a hopeful 15 for the Games. It said it had written to Cycling Australia seeking reviews of their selection processes and ensuring they fully informed athletes of their rationale for selection.
The APC will conduct a review with Cycling Australia to ensure that for future Games, Australia would be able to maximise the number of positions allocated and that the sports nomination criteria was clearly understood by aspiring team members.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)