Thursday, March 27, 2008

McGee getting closer in 4km pursuit

It's World Track Cycling Champs time, not that you'd know it here in Australia, our media dominated by the vastly smaller sport of pool-based swimming. I've got nothing against the activity itself but surely we can do better than watch a small group of elite swimming nations go up and down their lanes in high-tech buoyancy suits? OK, cycling is elitist and expensive itself at the top end, but cycling is also the cheapest form of wheeled transport - almost anyone can do it, anywhere. You don't even need a formed road. And velodromes don't have to be enclosed, or banked - they can even be grassed. It's that availability at low entry cost that makes both road and track cycling potentially a world-wide sport (like athletics already is) - whereas with swimming you need water. Not everyone wants to swim in their drinking water after all.

Anyway, my attention was caught by that well-known pot-hauling back-injurer, Brad McGee. He's had a tough time of late at and has switched to the creatively named Team CSC this year... and sponsor CSC itself has of course announced it's pulling out of pro cyclesport at the end of the year. Ooops. Now Brad was on fire at the Giro, what, 3 years ago now? And then he had a succession of injuries, the most major being the aforementioned pot-moving incident. But he's back on track, surely (pun intended):
1 Jenning Huizenga (Netherlands) 4.16.34 (56.174 km/h)
2 Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) 4.17.02
3 Alexei Markov (Russian Federation) 4.18.24
4 Hayden Roulston (New Zealand) 4.18.33
5 Bradley McGee (Australia) 4.20.43
6 David O'Loughlin (Ireland) 4.20.91
7 Luke Roberts (Australia) 4.21.89
8 Taylor Phinney (United States Of America) 4.22.36
9 Antonio Tauler Llull (Spain) 4.22.65
10 Volodymyr Dyudya (Ukraine) 4.22.73
11 Alexander Serov (Russian Federation) 4.22.74
12 Dominique Cornu (Belgium) 4.22.79
13 Sergi Escobar Roure (Spain) 4.24.13
14 Jens Mouris (Netherlands) 4.24.48
15 Marc Ryan (New Zealand) 4.24.78
16 Robert Bartko (Germany) 4.25.14
17 Phillip Thuaux (Australia) 4.26.43

I'd like to jump on a track bike after quite a break and do a 4.20 over 4km. I'd be happy with a sub-6min 4km to be honest. Good on you Brad, and keep it up. You may surprise us all in Beijing. Oh yeah, the other Brad, ie Wiggins, won the final in a canter. He's almost an Aussie so it's not too bad. (BTW Phil Thuaux was about 3 seconds off his PB, so something went wrong there.)