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World Track Championships - CM
Melbourne, Australia, May 26-30, 2004
Tales from the track
News and gossip from day 2 of the Melbourne World Track Championships
By Karen Forman in Melbourne
Alzamora wants to repeat Aussie madison gold
Spaniard Miquel Alzamora has travelled a long way to Australia hoping to achieve his lifelong dream of Olympics qualification. But that's not the only reason he came to the World Track Championships in Melbourne this week.
Alzamora, 30, who lives on Majorca, would love to win the event he calls a "lottery" - the scratch race - and his pet event - the madison. He is particularly hungry for a madison gold medal because he took the madison gold last time he was in Australia for a world championships (Perth in 1997) and dreams of making in a second-visit Down Under double.
But even if he doesn't win any medals, performing well enough to qualify for the Olympics will be enough, says the affable Spaniard who set out on his riding career as a junior, contesting the junior world championships in 1992. He started riding at senior world championship level in 1995 and has had a relatively successfully career, winning the scratch race gold medal last year in Mexico and the silver in the madison at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
He's much more confident of success in the madison than the scratch race here in Melbourne, however, given the unpredictable nature of the scratch race animal.
"Anybody can win in a scratch race," he told Cyclingnews. "Realistically, 90 per cent of the riders stand a chance in a scratch race. It can be a lottery. One mistake in a scratch race can completely destroy your chances."
That's why he never rides the same race twice. "I try to change my tactics so people can't see any tactics in the way I race. Sometimes I jump from the start. Sometimes I wait for the event. I do whatever it takes. I try a different plan every time."
Alzamora had an unexpected setback to his Olympic dream in February when he crashed in the madison during the Moscow World Cup and broke his arm. "The Argentinean had attacked and the Colombians were chasing him. They fell in front of him and I couldn't miss them, so I fell down too."
The Spaniard suffered a severe break and separation of the bones in his arm, as well as copping a 7cm splinter , which inserted itself under his shoulder. "It was very painful. The doctor had to cut me open and take it out."
The accident resulted in three weeks off the bike and although he has recovered well enough, says the arm still gives him trouble during changes in the madison. There's not much he can do, however. "I just have to work with it."
He says his fitness has improved this year and he has worked hard on his preparation. "My dream is to be the Olympic madison champion," he said. "That's not so easy because there is not a lot of money available to develop cyclists in Spain, although more money has been coming because of the interest in road racing, which has spilled over to the number of riders going to the track to compete. This has improved the level of competition."
More Day 2 News from the Melbourne World Track Championships
By Karen Forman in Melbourne