Spanish, French teams for Track Worlds
With just one week to go before the start of the 2007 Track World Championships, countries have finalised their rosters and are already testing out the new velodrome in Palma de Mallorca. 36 nations will be sending 300 riders to the new facility, which was completed on a last-minute time table.
Motivated to perform well on their home soil, the Spanish team is fielding a strong team, headed by former World Champion pursuiter Sergi Escobar and Mallorcan Toni Tauler, and multiple world title holder Joan Llaneras for the points race and Madison.
According to todociclismo, Spanish endurance team director Didac Navarro said that the team has an "excellent ambience. Last year we had some stresses due to the struggle of the start places. But this year the decision was made very early, everybody knows his job and that they have to give their very best in the championship, not before."
Pedro José Vera will compete in the reintroduced omnium which combines a mix of track skills - both speed and endurance are needed. "We chose him for this reason, but he surprises us [positively] in the tests against the sprinters, where we thought he could have the biggest difficulties." said Navarro.
Spanish team for Track Worlds: José Antonio Escuredo and Itmar Esteban for the sprint, Escuredo and Hodei Mazkiarán for the Keirin, Mazkiarán and Alvaro Alonso for the Kilo, and Alonso, Salvador Meliá and Rubén Donet for the team sprint. Escobar and Tauler will ride the pursuit, with Escobar, David Muntaner, Carles Torrent, Asier Maeztu and Antonio Miguel making up the team pursuit, while Llaneras will compete in the points race and Madison with Carlos Torrent. Unai Elorriaga will take on the scratch race.
Helena Casas will compete in the sprint, 500m time trial, keirin, and the team sprint with Leire Olaberria (with Ainhoa Pagola as reserve). Olaberria will also race the pursuit and scratch races, and Gema Pascual will compete in the points race.
The French have also confirmed their team, according to the race website, mundipalma2007.com. Gregory Baugé, Mickaël Bourgain and Arnaud Tournant will be the team's sprinters, and Fabien Sanchez will ride the individual pursuit, and the team pursuit along with Matthieu Ladagnous, Kevin Lalouette, Alexandre Lemair and Nicolas Rousseau.
François Pervis and Didier Henriette will race the kilo, and Keirin Mickaël, Bourgain and Kevin Sireau will take on the Keirin. Endurance riders Matthieu Ladagnous and Jérôme Neuville will participate in the points and scratch races, respectively, and Andy Flickinger and Matthieu Ladagnous will make up the Madison pair. Michael d’Almeida will compete in the omnium.
For the women, Clara Sánchez will take on the sprint and the Keirin. Sandie Clair will also race the Keirin and team sprint with Virginia Cueff, and Cathy Moncassin-Prime will race in the pursuit.
Kiwi women win appeal to race track worlds
When the New Zealand track team was named for the upcoming World Track Championships next weekend in Majorca, the list did not include Christchurch racers Fiona Carswell and Jocelyn Rastrick
Carswell won national titles in several events including the women's keirin, scratch race, 500m, and sprint. Paired with Rastrick, she won the women's team sprint.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Carswell claimed an initial decision to include the duo on the team had been overturned - a result that got her thinking about resigning from the sport. However, the two team sprint partners appealed the decision, and they won, so they will now be representing New Zealand at worlds.
"We weren't looking to stir, we just wanted to be recognised for what we're worth," Carswell said to www.cyclingnz.com. The pair will reportedly have to pay their own way.
O'Loughlin gets ready in Newport
By Shane Stokes
Navigators Insurance professional David O'Loughlin will arrive in Majorca on Saturday in order to fine tune his preparation in advance of the hosting of the world track championships there. The Mayo rider recently spent three days in the Newport velodrome in Wales honing his form, and will ride the pursuit and points races in Palma.
His entry marks the first Irish participation at this level since 1996, when Phil Collins and Declan Lonergan competed in the Olympics and world championships. O'Loughlin set a new Irish pursuit record on his debut last September and finished eighth in the recent World Cup round held in Manchester.
However, he had been going considerably quicker in training in the days leading up to the contest and so, providing he can modify his warm-up and get the best out of himself, he should be faster in Majorca. His longer-term goal is to qualify for the velodrome events at the Olympics, as well as continuing his road career with the US squad.