T-Mobile rider Michael Rogers will join the Australian national road team at this week's Good Luck Beijing Road events. Rogers, a three times Time Trial world champion, was originally going to skip the preview of the Beijing Olympic Games TT and road race courses, but has decided to contest the events after crashing out early at last month's Tour de France.
"If I had completed the Tour de France I probably wouldn't have gone but crashing out early meant I could reconsider," said Rogers, who injured his right shoulder after slamming into a metal barrier on the Tour's Stage 8. "I've recovered well and probably have about 95 percent movement back.
"I'm in full training and suffering no pain on the bike although I'm still missing a little bit of movement when I raise my hand over my shoulder," added Rogers. "I'm not planning to do that on the bike though so it's not an issue."
Rogers will be joined at the event by Tour runner-up Cadel Evans. The Predictor-Lotto rider has spend the weeks since the Tour resting with his family in Europe, in between media commitments. The pair will be joined by fellow ProTour rider Matt White (Discovery Channel), Australian pursuit champion Phil Thuaux and three time junior 2006 World Champion, Cameron Meyer.
"It was a big advantage for me to go to Athens because I got to study it in my mind for a year and it gave me a clear mental image," said Rogers of the Athens course preview. "Definitely better than turning up three or four days before and trying to master the course.
"We'll study every metre of the course," said Rogers. "We're taking Dave Martin (AIS Sports Scientist) and some of the world's best physiologists so we can gain all the information we need to work out a strategic pacing plan plus I'll have a year to think about how to tackle it."
Athens Olympic teams pursuit gold medallist Peter Dawson stepped aside to allow Rogers to make the trip. Athens Olympic road race champion Sara Carrigan and two time World Cup Series winner Oenone Wood will also make the trip for reconnaissance purposes as only men's races are scheduled for the test event.
Meanwhile Rogers is expected to contest the Vuelta a Espana with his ProTour squad, but remains uncertain about his availability for the 2007 Road World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany during September, as his wife is expecting to give birth to twins around the time of the event.
"I'm looking into it at the moment," said Rogers. "I'll do the first ten days of the Vuelta (Tour of Spain) and then it depends on the birth of our twins because they're due around the same day as the time trial.
"I suppose that's one positive for me out of my Tour de France crash," he said. "At least I got to spend some time with my wife (Alessia) who's been having a rough time of it but it's only a month to go now so we're on the downhill stretch and trying to get as much sleep stored up as possible."
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