August 18, 2004
I fear it, but I must watch
I don't want to post any spoilers today about the time trials, but if you're a regular reader hereabouts, you probably don't want to miss the coverage (abysmal as it's likely to be) tonight on NBC.
Atlanta Olympics TT photo gallery - Women's
Again, in recognition of today's Olympic time trials for men and women, I dug out some photos from the 1996 Olympics, here in Atlanta.
Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli won a gold and a silver at the Atlanta Olympics, gold in the road race and silver in the Time Trial. Canada's Clara Hughes also won two medals, bronze medals in both road race and TT. Italy's Imelda Chiappa won the road race silver, while Zulfiya Zabirova won the gold for the time trial.
I may follow up with some road race pictures, or a few from the inaugural Olympic mountain bike race, but here are some shots from the Women's Time Trial:
Here's gold medalist Zabirova:
Here's Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli:
And Canada's Clara Hughes:
Atlanta Olympics TT photo gallery - Men's
In celebration of the Athens Olympic Time Trials later today, here are some photos from the Atlanta TTs in 1996. The time trial is great for spectators: All the riders pass by multiple times, the crowds are smaller than for the road race, and the follow cars make it very easy to ID the riders.
The Atlanta Olympics marked a watershed in cycling, as Miguel Indurain won his last major race during the time trial. He had just lost the 1996 Tour de France to Bjarne Riis, and his countryman Abraham Olano took silver. Great Britain's Chris Boardman was the bronze medalist. Spain's terrific showing led to about a 45 minute delay in the medal ceremony, since IOC czar Juan-Antonio Samaranch had decreed that he would personally award any gold medals won by Spaniards.
And bronze medalist Chris Boardman:
Competing for the US were Steve Hegg, then of Chevy-LA Sherriffs, and Lance Armstrong, just a few months from discovering his testicular cancer (Armstrong is warming up):
Here's Bjarne Riis, the Great Dane, riding in the invisible yellow jersey the reigning Tour champ radiates:
Here's France's Laurent Jalabert, but what's with the face?
And I wonder what ever became of this guy?
August 04, 2004
Axel Merckx, Roger Hammond to join Discovery?
Belgian newspaper Het Niewsblad reports that Axel "son of Eddy" Merckx will join Discovery Channel (formerly US Postal) for the 2005 season.
Britain's Roger Hammond, currently riding for Mr. Bookmaker.com, is also reportedly joining the US-based squad.
Merckx previously rode for Motorola alongside Lance Armstrong, back when they rode bikes from Eddy Merckx.
They'll join Armstrong and Ukraine's Yaroslav Popovych, who signed a 3-year contract with Tailwind Sports earlier this week.
Klöden shopping teams
Tour de France runner-up Andreas Klöden is shopping for a new squad next year. The German champion for 2004 couldn't get an extension from T-Mobile, and so may be riding under a different banner next year.
Klöden is managed by Tony Rominger, former hour record holder, who said his rider needs a new squad where he can be the undisputed team leader, suggesting T-Mobile will continue to rider Jan Ullrich for a few more years.
"T-Mobile has a good structure, but if Andreas wants to ride next season as a team leader, he'll have to change," commented Rominger.
Millar gets 2-year ban
David Millar has been banned through August 2006, after admitting he used EPO in 2001 and 2003.
Millar also loses his world championship in the time trial, which passes to Australia's Michael Rogers.
The British Cycling Federation also DQ'ed Millar from the 2003 Dauphiné Libére, where he was 3rd overall, and the 2001 Tour of Spain, where he won the prologue and stage 6.
Full text of the statement is available at Millar's web page.
August 02, 2004
McEwen signs with Lotto mutation
Although BBC Sport calls it a new team, it's actually the latest incarnation of the Belgian Lotto squad, which was Lotto-Domo this season. Next season, it will be Omega Pharma-Lotto.
Tour de France green jersey Robbie McEwen is the biggest name signed for the squad, and will be joined by fellow Aussie Nick Gates and Belgium's Peter Van Petegem. Belgian reports have the team also signing Bjorn Leukemans or Tom Steels.
Please insert your own punchline about pharma in the peloton.