Turtur calls on Bobridge and Hepburn to knuckle down after drink-drive incident
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Turtur calls on Bobridge and Hepburn to knuckle down after drink-drive incident

by VeloNation Press at 6:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
“It's a crazy situation that I can't understand,” states former team pursuit gold medalist

Jack BobridgeOlympic gold medallist in 1984, Mike Turtur has said that Jack Bobridge and Michael Hepburn are at a crucial point in relation to their Olympic ambitions, with both riders have been disciplined by Cycling Australia for a drink-driving incident.

Bobridge was driving a car that was involved in a minor-traffic accident last Tuesday in the Spanish town of Lloret de Mar. He was found to be over the alcohol limit and has had his licence suspended for eight months; he was also fined the equivalent of 880 Australian dollars. Hepburn was also in the car at the time, as was a third Australian rider who has not been named.

Both riders are a crucial part of Australia’s team pursuit squad. Cycling Australia could have suspended them but choose not to do so. Instead, Bobridge was fined $2500, with $2000 of the penalty suspended; if he is disciplined again in the next twelve months, he will have to pay the remainder.

Hepburn was given a $1000 suspended fine. In addition to that, they are banned from drinking when they are with the national team.

According to the 1984 team pursuit gold medallist Turtur, the riders need to learn from this and change their behaviour. "It's a crazy situation that I can't understand," he stated, according to Adelaide Now. "We've all been young but they're a talented group and sometimes young blokes think they can burn the candle at both ends.”

He said that it was crucial that they did everything exactly right in terms of their preparation. "The reality is if it's a race like it was in Melbourne (at the world championships) then a 10th-of-a-second could be the difference between yes and no, gold and silver.”

However he said that it could be a positive turning point for the duo. "It may be a blessing in disguise and really wake them up as to what is at stake," he stated.

Bobridge is regarded as one of the most talented young Australian riders, with some very impressive performances to his credit, but also periods where he has not ridden to his potential. He has not made the same progression as riders like Cameron Meyer. Like Turtur, Cycling Australia will hope that this incident will turn things around.

"Jack has been reckless and irresponsible and he is fortunate he has escaped without serious injury to himself or others," stated Cycling Australia’s chief executive Graham Fredericks. "There is no excuse for drinking and driving and we endorse the action of Spanish authorities."

In addition to being part of the team pursuit squad, both Bobridge and 20 year old Hepburn are team-mates on Orica GreenEdge.


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