Tour duties force Aussies to drop Lancaster
  May 20, 2018 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tour duties force Aussies to drop Lancaster

by Agence France-Presse at 6:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
Australia's defence of their coveted Olympic team pursuit crown from Athens has been hit by Brett Lancaster's failed bid to leave the Tour de France a week before the race finished.

Lancaster was a key member of the team that won Olympic gold in Athens but team officials said he is simply too fatigued from finishing the three-week Tour to deal with the demands of helping his team qualify for the Games' final.

Officials confirmed Thursday that Lancaster - who rides professionally for the Milram road team - will race only in the men's individual pursuit alongside Brad McGee at the Beijing Olympics.

Endurance coach Iain McKenzie, who has been helping develop some of Australia's top endurance riders for the past 14 years, admitted it was a blow to their hopes of making the final.

Britain, and to a lesser extent Denmark, are the big favourites having set a new world record of 3min 56.322sec when they won gold at the world championships in March.

It was a tough decision to drop Lancaster, however McKenzie appears to be erring on the side of caution - in the event Lancaster simply doesn't produce. "It's disappointing because I regard him (Lancaster) as one of the best team pursuiters in the world. He was one of our really strong men in Athens when we won," said McKenzie. "It was always going to be a gamble, but we've come here to win and I want the best opportunity to win. "From my perspective it's hampered our chances a little, but we've got two young guys in Jack Bobridge and Mark Jamieson who have really stepped up, so it hasn't hit our chances too much."

The 19-year-old Bobridge, Australian track cycling's latest endurance gem, is a former two-time world junior champion and has stepped up to give the older heads some food for thought.

In January he helped Australia to gold in the Los Angeles round of the World Cup, but did not race in their successful bronze medal match-up with New Zealand at the Manchester world championships in March.

At Manchester, 24-year-old Jamieson teamed up with Luke Roberts, Graeme Brown and Bradley McGee to help Australia to third place. The three more experienced riders, along with Lancaster, won Olympic gold in Athens.

It means Australia now have five riders from which to choose what they hope to be a winning combination in Jamieson, Bobridge, Roberts, McGee and Brown.

McKenzie said he had hoped for Lancaster, a sprinter, to ride just two weeks of the Tour. But, contrary to their wishes, he ended up finishing the race. "Brett just hasn't recovered from the Tour," McKenzie added. "The original plan was that he would do two weeks in the Tour and then join us to train (for the Olympics). We thought that was pretty much ideal, but circumstances changed and it was out of our control."

Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC