By Susan Westemeyer
Rene Haselbacher will ride his last race in the Gerolsteiner jersey on the track after a ten-year absence from track racing. He will ride the 4000 metre individual pursuit in the Austrian Championships in Vienna on Thursday evening. He last rode on the track in the 1996 World Championships in Manchester. "Paris-Tours last week was supposed to be my last appearance for Gerolsteiner," said the Austrian rider, who has signed for Team Astana for the coming season. "Now I've added the track championship." He is looking forward to the challenge: "In my time as a junior rider, I was an outstanding pursuer. I can simply do this discipline well."
"The biggest difference will be in the distance," he notes. "A road race lasts hours and can go over 240 kilometres. On the track it's all over after four and a half minutes." Haselbacher also has the 2008 Olympic games in the back of his mind. "Who knows, if it goes well, then I could imagine starting the 4000 metres in Peking. One thing is clear, though, road racing is my number one priority, the track comes in second place."