By Marcel Slagman
The Cannondale-Vredestein has got its eye on all three podium spots at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China. At the recent team presentation in Enschede, The Netherlands, three top riders said they hope to win a medal in Beijing. Roel Paulissen will be a member of the Belgian team, Jakob Fuglsang will be wearing the Danish tricot and Kashi Leuchs will represent New Zealand.
"In Athens I ended up fourth, now I want a medal," said Paulissen, who has won ten Belgian championships and is going this year for titles in the cross country and the marathon.
Kiwi Leuchs wants to keep the momentum going from his 2007 season. "I finished in the top 10 regularly, and in 2008 I want to do the same in the top five of big international races.''
Fuglsang made a move in January from Varese to Cola, near Lake Garda in Italy. "First I am riding some road races before starting the World Cup mountain bike series. I'd like to finish in the top five at the Olympics and maybe better...'', said the talented Dane. "And after Beijing I will think about my future - on the mountain bike or on the road. It is not clear for me, yet.''
The new leader of the squad is experienced trainer and coach Simon Burney from Great Britain. "This team is one of the best in the mountain bike scene. My goal is to help the riders [be] as good as possible. Our goals are the World Cup, the World Championships in Italy and, of course, the Olympic race in Beijing.'' Jan ten Tusscher and Ruud Poels will serve as the team's managers.