Tour de France runner-up Cadel Evans will take his place at the Olympics, Australian Olympic officials said Monday, as 2004 Athens road race silver medalist Sergio Paulinho pulled out due to health reasons.
The 31-year-old Australian star slipped on a wet floor last week in the aftermath of the Tour de France final stage and had been receiving intense treatment on a knee injury in Italy.
He withdrew from the Olympic time trial on August 13 but the Australian Olympic Committee has received confirmation that he will arrive in Beijing on Wednesday to compete in the road race on Saturday.
If Evans is pronounced fit after the road race he also will contest the time trial along with Australia’s former world champion Michael Rogers, the Australian team said on its website.
Evans crashed during the ninth stage of the Tour de France but rallied to complete the event and finish in second place overall.
2004 silver medalist pulls out of road race
Portuguese cyclist Sergio Paulinho, a silver medallist at the 2004 Athens Games behind Paolo Bettini, on Monday pulled out of the road race at the Beijing Olympics because of health problems.
“Sergio won’t be leaving for Beijing because of his health,” Portuguese cycling federation president Artur Lopes said.
The precise nature of the 28-year-old’s health problems were not given, but he had a request to use an anti-asmathic medication in Beijing turned down.
Lopes insisted, however, that his withdrawal had “nothing to do” with the refusal, adding that it was too late to replace the cyclist in the event which takes place on August 9.
Paulinho, a member of the Astana Cycling Team, won Stage 10 of the 2006 Vuelta a Espana while racing for Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team. He finished 65th in the 2007 Tour de France as a domestique for overall winner Alberto Contador.
© BikeRadar & AFP 2008