First Edition Cycling News for August 21, 2004
Edited by Chris Henry
An interview with Anna Meares
Taking the bull by the horns
Australian Anna Meares not only took the gold medal in the women's 500m time trial in Athens today, but also set a new world record. Her time of 33.951 makes her the only woman to break the 34 second barrier in the 500m event. But the Queenslander told Cyclingnews' Kristy Scrymgeour after winning the 500m World Championships in May that she "didn't have too many expectations going into the Olympics."
"If I go there relaxed," she said. "I will perform better. It's a mental game too."
Anna Meares started cycling at a young age with her older sister Kerrie, and the two have them have become the dominant force in Australian track sprinting over the past few year. Training together and traveling together to World Cups, the two have proven to be not only perfect traveling companions, but also very competitive against each other, pushing themselves to that higher level. "It's been strange not training with her," said Anna, "and also not rooming with her. We make great training companions."
Click here for the full interview
For a round up of the first day of Olympic track competition, click here.
Baugé's time will come
French reserve track cyclist Grégory Baugé is only in Athens to fill in for his teammates in case of accident or injury, but the 19 year old is considered the next great threat for the strong national track program. Baugé has already impressed coaches Daniel Morelon and Gérard Quintyn, and is expected to excel in the coming years.
"Right now he's posting times faster than Florian Rousseau, Arnaud Tournant and Laurent Gané did at the same age," Quintyn told the Associated Press. "He's an incredibly gifted kid. If we've taken him to the Games, it's because of his great talent."
Baugé was a silver medallist in the 2003 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany in the junior sprint competition, as well as world champion in the team sprint in the 2002 Junior World's.
"Of course I'm happy to know that I've done better times than my predecessors at the same age," Baugé said. "The concern is that I like to go out and party... Thankfully, when competitions come up, I'm able to stop going out. That's not going to keep me from pushing hard on the pedals."
Baugé, who rides for the US Créteil team outside Paris, has clearly inspired hope in his national team.
"The changing of the guard is assured with Greg Baugé," Quintyn commented.
Peden withdraws from Olympics
Track cyclist Anthony Peden has withdrawn from the New Zealand Olympic team after claiming to have inadvertently taken a banned drug. Former Australian representative Peden has flown from France to his home in Newcastle, New South Wales, ending a dramatic series of events which began last month when he visited a doctor in Germany to receive treatment for ongoing back and leg pain.
Peden told the New Zealand Olympic Committee he was prescribed the drug Triamcinoline, a cortisone-type drug which has no performance enhancing properties but which is on the banned list for in-competition under the regulations of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
This took place in Cottbus between July 19 and 28 but New Zealand Olympic team chef de mission Dave Currie was unclear of the exact date.
Due to language difficulties with the German doctor, Peden told the NZOC he was unaware that the administered product would still be in his body by the start of the in-competition testing period on August 1.
He said he was also not advised by the doctor of a need to apply to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and UCI for a therapeutic use exemption.
USPRO and US Elite Criterium Championships
Top domestic racers make annual pilgrimage to Downers Grove
By Mark Zalewski in Downers Grove, Illinois
A lot has changed in the professional racing scene over the past year -- old teams dissolving, new ones forming -- but the one constant is the western suburb of Chicago, Downers Grove, IL. For more than a decade, the best and brightest professionals and elite amateurs have descended on this usually quiet suburb to tackle one of the more exciting criterium courses on the national calendar.
With defending two-time winner Kevin Monahan enjoying retirement, the race for the stars and stripes is wide open. Combined with the shuffling of teams and personnel that occurred in the off-season, the featured USPRO event should provide plenty of action. The Saturn alumni have all gone their separate ways -- last year's runner-up Chris Horner with Webcor, third place and former USPRO road champion Mark McCormack and Ivan Dominguez with Colavita/Bolla, former USPRO road champion Trent Klasna finding a home on Sierra Nevada... the list goes on. All have done well in Downers Grove, and all will have to fight each other this year for the win.
The two-day event is packed with action. Saturday features many USCF category races and two pro-am "warm-up" events where amateurs and pros battle for cash. These races give the pro team workers a chance for a win some moola before sacrificing themselves the next day in the championship races. It also gives the elite amateurs and not-quite-ready-for-prime-time amateurs an opportunity to mix it up with the pros.
Click here for the full preview.
Bartoli back for Zurich
Meanwhile, Italian classics rider Michele Bartoli will return to action with Team CSC in the Championship of Zurich on Sunday. Bartoli abandoned the Tour de France with a knee injury, and has had a slow recovery since then but now feels ready to test himself in the peloton. Bartoli's injury prompted him to forego his selection to the Olympic road race, won by compatriot Paolo Bettini.
"When I returned from the Tour, I was in so much pain I could hardly walk," Bartoli commented on the team's website (team-csc.com). "It felt like someone sticking a knife in my leg whenever I walked up the stairs at my house. There was nothing else to do than to go a whole week without any cycling at all, which wasn't easy. In my first races after the Tour it simply hurt too much. I chose to withdraw from the Olympics so as not to take up the spot from someone who would be able to make a real difference."
Bartoli has worked to slowly bring himself back to form, and was encouraged after a 220km solo venture in training recently.
"At first I could only ride for about an hour to an hour and a half, but after a while I've increased the training periods considerably," he said. "Obviously I've got to be realistic, but I'll try to keep up ahead, as far as I possibly can. It's been a rough year without any top results, and I'm very keen to make up for all the accidents and repay the trust, the team has shown me."
Garzelli skips Zurich
Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola) will also be forced to miss the Championship of Zurich. The Italian suffered a leg injury in a fall in this week's Coppa Agostoni classic. Garzelli will use the weekend to recover, returning to race next Wednesday at the GP Nobili Rubinetterie di Arona. He will next tackle the Vuelta a España in September.
Another fracture for Julich
Bobby Julich (Team CSC) will miss the Championship of Zurich World Cup this Sunday. The American, bronze medallist in the Olympic time trial on Wednesday, will be replaced by Michele Bartoli. Julich underwent additional medical checks after his time trial Wednesday, during which an additional fracture was revealed in his hand, injured during the Tour de France. Team CSC reports that Frank Schleck is also in doubt for Zurich, suffering from a knee injury.
Spanish cyclist Maribel Moreno will return to competition this weekend after taking a month off to recover from a pancreatitis. She will contest the Spanish Cup race in Zamora after resuming training a week ago.
Bodrogi and Vogondy to Crédit Agricole
Roger Legeay has added two members to his Crédit Agricole team, signing Hungarian time trial specialist Laszlo Bodrogi and former French national champion Nicolas Vogondy. Bodrogi joins the team after several seasons with Quick.Step-Davitamon, while Vogondy makes the move from FDJeux.com.
Trophée d'Or Féminin
The eighth edition of the Trophée d'Or Féminin stage race kicked off Friday with a short team time trial of just under 11 kilometres in Saint-Amand, France. The women's race is run this year in the memory of its co-founder, Rémy Pigois, who died in March. Pigois was considered the 'voice of women's cycling' in France and was a great supporter of the sport, including his promotion of the Trophée d'Or. The five day, six stage event wraps up Tuesday, August 24 where it began, in Saint-Amand.
Stage 1 - August 20: Saint-Amand TTT, 10.7 km
Stockburger & Much to Junior World's
American juniors Chris Stockburger and Rebecca Much earned themselves automatic nomination to the Junior World Championships in Verona, Italy this year after taking victory in the men's and women's 17-18 category at the Park City Cycling Festival. The two won their respective time trials on a course alongside the Great Salt Lake outside Park City, Utah Thursday.
"It was my main goal all year and it was tough," Stockburger said. "I knew this time trial today was my big opportunity to go to Italy."
Stockburger beat defending champion Zack Taylor to take the national title. Much won her event by 40 seconds over runner up Kimberly Geist and declared herself 'super happy' to be going to Italy.
"This was my biggest goal for the season," she added. "I am so thrilled to be going to the World Championships."
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)