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Bayern Rundfahrt
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World Track Championships - CM

Melbourne, Australia, May 26-30, 2004

Event program and results

Tales from the track

News and gossip from day 1 of the Melbourne World Track Championships

By Karen Forman in Melbourne

Cesario beats viral infection to get on track for Athens

Enzo Cesario Farias (Chile)
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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There was a time that doctors feared Chilean team pursuit specialist Enzo Cesario wouldn't ride his bike again - let alone achieve his goal to ride at an Olympic Games. And there he was at the World Track Championships in Sydney tonight, doing his utmost to qualify for the Athens Olympics.

Two years ago, the 23 year old from Vina Del Mare contracted a viral infection, which had doctors baffled. They didn't know where he had got it. They didn't really know what to call it. And they didn't really know how to treat it. But they DID know that it would take six months to go away. And they were right.

"The virus infected by nervous system and I lost the use of my right arm," he told Cyclingnews through an interpreter. "Just one day it was there. I had no strength at all. The doctors said it would take six months, so I knew I had to be strong and would have to wait. I never thought I wouldn't be able to ride again. I just waited until I could. And after six months, I was better."

It started, he said, with nervous pulses in his arm and severe pain, which spidered from his shoulder and went down to his hand. Not good for the young rider who had spent 13 years in a sport his father had recommended to him and who had taken the gold medal at the 2003 Pan American Games in the teams pursuit.

After all, he had enough to deal with. "It is hard to be a cyclist in Chile, it is very complicated," he said. "The State helps a little with money, although not much. It is barely enough to live. I live with my family. If I didn't, it would be impossible to be a bike rider."

Once the infection cleared, Cesario spent several months undergoing a complete rehabilitation program and has been on the up and up every since. "From time to time when we compete in the Tour of Chile, Spanish teams come to talent spot us," he said. "I have been made some offers which is good."

Now he wants to qualify for the Olympic Games. "I hope for top 10 here, God willing," he said. "I want to qualify for the Olympics." He also has a goal for his team: "We want to build a strong team and take a medal at the Olympic level. It is for the group, the team.

Major rivals will be Australia, Lithuania, Russia and New Zealand, he said.

It's the second time Cesario has visited Australia. "I came to prepare for the Pan American Games last year and I love it here," he said. "It is very nice and clean. Tranquillo. Not so complicated as Chile."

More Day 1 News from the Melbourne World Track Championships

By Karen Forman in Melbourne

  • Melbourne abuzz with World Championship spirit - The cosmopolitan Australian city of Melbourne was abuzz with excitement today as the 2004 World Track Championships opened at Vodafone Arena.
  • World Cup gold medalists have to be content with bronze at World's - Craig McLean was cautiously optimistic after his British team qualified second fastest in the first round of the men's team sprint, just 0.6 seconds behind the French leaders, at Melbourne's Vodafone Arena velodrome today.
  • Australia qualifies for Olympic team sprint - but knocked out of the medals - Host country Australia has achieved its goal to qualify for the Olympics in the team sprint, but failed to made it through the second round and into the medals tonight.
  • "It's a crazy feeling" says new World Points Champ - New World Points Race Champion Franck Perque didn't have a minute to absorb the news that he was indeed champion of the world before he was surrounded by French speaking journalists tonight, wanting to know just how he felt about the whole thing.
  • Unlucky day for Renshaw - Australian first-year FdJeux.com roadie Mark Renshaw had had high hopes for the points race at the World Track Championships in Melbourne tonight, but bad luck intervened.