Latest: Rogers to miss world's TT; O'Neill wins Aussie TT; IPCT OK with Disco
time trial champion Michael Rogers tells Procycling’s Susanne Horsdal that he will ski
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Rogers to skip World Championships time trial Michael Rogers, a triple winner of the world time trial championships, has decided not to take part in this year’s edition of the world’s race against the clock, he revealed at the T-Mobile training camp on Mallorca. “I’ll have a year out from the world’s time trial,” he told Procycling. “I’ve been doing it six times and I just feel like I need to rebuild some real motivation for the Olympics next year. As a one day time trial the only thing I’m missing is the Olympics, so I figure if I take a year out I can get some real motivation back for that.” Not that he’s not happy with what he’s achieved so far in the discipline, but for Rogers other objectives have moved up on the agenda. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s always nice to win world championships, but it doesn’t really change anything for me. Besides there are so many races, and I’d like to have a go at the road race and maybe the Tour of Spain,” said Rogers, who’ll have the biggest challenge of his career so far in July, when he’ll be the captain of the T-Mobile team in the Tour de France. Four in a row for O’Neill at Australian TT Championships While Michael Rogers is taking a break from top level time trialling, his compatriot Nathan O’Neill is very much in form. The 32 year-old lived up to his status as an unbackable favourite to win his fourth straight Australian men’s time trial crown and the eighth of his career at the Australian Open Road Championships in Bunninyong, near Ballarat, Victoria. The Queenslander, who rides with the American based Health Net professional team, was the only rider in the field to go under 50 minutes for the testing 39 kilometre course, passing three riders who started ahead of him to finish in 49min34.59sec. His Health Net team mate, Canberra’s Rory Sutherland, 24, claimed silver in 50min45.16sec with Victorian David Pell, 26, third in 51min37.11sec. “I prepared really well but you just never know what’s going to happen on the day and I have been in situations before where I’ve prepared well and haven’t had good legs,” said O’Neill. “(Today) I felt great from the start, found my rhythm, felt on top of it the whole way and never looked back.” O’Neill has already established a record of Australian championships time trial success that will stand for many years and has warned his rivals there are more to come. “Every one of them is a special thing and while you can do it you have to make the most of it because you never know how many more years you’re going to have and what’s going to happen,” said O’Neill, who almost lost his life in an racing accident in America in July, 2003 when he broke two vertebrae in his neck. He spent more than two months in a medical ‘halo’ fixed to his skull by fours screws and designed to immobilise his head and neck and has a 5cm titanium screw in his neck as a constant reminder of his self described ‘miracle’ survival. “I look at every day now as a new opportunity and a new challenge,” said O’Neill after today’s triumph. “I have a new perspective on life since the accident and I’m never going to knock something back and say ‘no I’m not going to worry about it’. If there is an opportunity to accomplish something I’m going to do it and if that’s the case I’ll be here for a while yet.” One of the keys to O’Neill’s success is his meticulous preparation for what is a specialised discipline of road cycling. “It’s a matter of getting your butt into gear and getting prepared,” he said. “You can’t just climb on the bike a week before and say I’m going to have a go at it, it takes a couple of months of good training to get in form, said O’Neill who, after years of time trial racing, also knows how to pace himself over the distance to ensure he puts every last ounce of energy into the race but doesn’t fade short of the finish. “I ride the steadiest race I can because I know my threshold and how hard I can go and what I can maintain for an hour,” he explained. “I get there, peg it and stay there and it’s up to others to go harder, faster and have more power (if they want to beat me). Today the conditions were favourable and I felt on top of it and was never in any trouble. I thank God for giving me the ability to produce the power on the day – it’s been a wonderful day.” O’Neill says while the win is a good start for 2007 it will be hard to top 2006. “I had good results on the bike (Australian and Commonwealth Champion) and off the bike it was fantastic,” said O’Neill who celebrated the birth of his first child, Lydia, with his American born wife, Karen, last September. “It’s a hard one to top when you have a great year – how do you beat it? “You don’t know what life will dish out for you,” he said. “It could be a huge valley or a huge peak, you just have to trust in God and hopefully it will work out.” Sutherland, while happy with second, has already begun assessing how he can improve for 2008. “It’s a time trial so if you’re hurting the whole time (but) I felt good and felt strong and one of the positive things is I can see a lot of points where I can improve and hopefully start pegging back Nathan,” said Sutherland. “All all credit to him (Nathan) – the guy trains as hard as anyone I know and does everything for his sport and that’s something to admire and respect. If I have to be beaten by anyone I’m content it’s a (Health Net) team mate and good mate of mine.” Tomorrow the U23 men line up in the 122.4km road race at 9.30am with the elite women’s road race over 102km starting at 1.30pm. IPCT says yes to Discovery The International Professional Cycling Teams association has decided not to boot the Discovery Channel team out of its group. Late last year, the IPCT was considering a move to exclude Discovery after it signed Ivan Basso. The exclusion wouldn’t have affected the team’s ProTour status in any way – it was more a sign of strong disapproval from the teams association, which claimed that Discovery had violated the ProTour code of ethics by signing a rider “involved” with Operaci¢n Puerto. Discovery argued that it had every right to sign Basso, who had been cleared by the Italian cycling federation. The team also agreed with the IPCT’s decision to have all riders implicated in Puerto submit DNA samples, if required by the Spanish judge. 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