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German impressions from Beijing

By:
Hedwig Kröner
Published:
August 07, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 21:44 BST
Edition:
Latest Cycling News, August 7, 2008

Gerolsteiner's Fabian Wegmann is at his first Olympic Games, and he is quite impressed. "You go into...

Gerolsteiner's Fabian Wegmann is at his first Olympic Games, and he is quite impressed. "You go into the cafeteria to eat and suddenly [basketball player] Dirk Nowitzki or Rafael Nadal stands in front of you."

Writing on his personal website, fabianwegmann.de, the Team Germany rider said, "We haven't seen a lot, but what we have seen is very imposing. Yesterday I looked at a couple of the sports sites with Jens Voigt, and what struck us, of course, were the enormous security measures. That is really crazy. Even on our training rides, there is a security officer every fifty metres to keep things 'in order'."

The weather was impressive, too, but not in a good way. "The temperature and the very high humidity are not very comfortable. You always feel as if you had just come out of the shower. Actually you don't need to do much of anything and you are already soaked in sweat from top to bottom."

Looking to his competition, the road race on Saturday, the 28 year-old said, "The course is very difficult, and then there is also the problem with the air, whether it is pollution or humidity." He added, "A lot of people think that this is the most difficult Olympic course ever. I can't say anything about that, of course, but at any rate I find it good and am highly motivated."

His German team-mate Bert Grabsch, who rides for Columbia, had similar observations. "We could train directly out of the Olympic Village. The traffic is very heavy, but you can get used to that. I noticed that you have to think for the car drivers and pay attention, because they are not used to such fast cyclists."

On his website, bertgrabsch.de, he further noted that "It is very hot and humid and you sweat and sweat. But my first Olympic Games are an enormous experience and it is a lot of fun to be here with my colleagues."

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