current time in Athens is
December 9, 2019
Olympic Cycling News for August 18, 2004
Edited by Chris Henry
Gané hopes to end with gold
At 31 years old, France's Laurent Gané sees retirement at the end of
this season, but not before a final push for Olympic gold in Athens. The track
rider, a former world champion in the individual sprint and member of the accomplished
French national team, has accomplished all of his goals in the sport except
the top step on the Olympic podium.
"I'm aiming for gold in the sprint and the team sprint," Gané told Reuters
several days before track competition begins in Athens. "I would like to finish
[my career] with an Olympic title. It's the only thing missing from my palmarès."
Gané also spared no criticism of the doping scandal surrounding the
Australian track team leading up to the Olympics, saying "naturally I've followed
the affair in Australia. It's good to see the fight against doping catching
people, since it's true there have been a number of riders whose profession
Without question, the Olympics in Athens will be Gané's final event
as a professional, after which he will return to his native New Caledonia to
work as a coach of young riders.
"If I'm here, that means I'm not too old," he insisted, defending his own chances.
"But this is my last big competition. After this, it's up to the next generation."
50-50 Chance for Kersten
Following the controversy of doping allegations, selection appeals and counter
appeals, Australian track cycling coach Martin Barras said team members were
now talking to each other.
Barras said there was a 50-50 chance that Ben Kersten, who was replaced when
Sean Eadie was cleared of doping allegations and recalled to the team once Jobie
Dajka was dumped for the same reason, would ride. He is confident of a medal
in the team sprint but said he had not run the combination before and would
only name the team on Friday for Saturday's races.
Kersten complained of being sidelined when he joined the team at their German
training camp but Barras said the team had pulled together.
"Everybody's talking to everybody and is getting on with the job of getting
ready," Barras said.
Perth rider Ryan Bayley said he was confident and came to the Olympics to win,
but while he hasn't been in the headlines or in court, the controversy surrounding
the team had taken a toll.
"It's knocked a few people around, it has knocked me around a little bit, but
I believe we're all coming out stronger," he said.
The 22-year-old is certain he'll finish in the top three of the sprint.
"I want to win everything possible ... being realistic I reckon in the team
sprint we've got a reasonable chance. In the sprint I believe I have a very
good chance... I believe the top three is a definite for me."
Barras said he was not into number crunching or medal predictions but believed
the Australians were ready and would finish the Olympics as the best cycling
team in the world.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)