Meares' final fling to make Beijing
21 April 2008
Meares’ final fling to make Beijing
A flying 200m sprint at Revolution 3 on June 12 will be Anna Meares’ only chance to impress Australian selectors, and keep her dream of capturing her second Olympic gold medal alive.
The third edition of the Revolution series will once again turn on a show for cycling fans, when members of the Australian track cycling team take to the boards at Vodafone Arena for their final hit-out on home soil prior to the Beijing Olympics.
Australian High Performance Sprint coach Martin Barras has laid out all of the requirements for the 24-year-old Meares, and believes the Olympic 500m time trial champion will leave it all out on the track at Revolution 3.
“Anna will be put to the test in a flying 200m sprint at Revolution 3. Her time must convince selectors that she has sufficiently recovered from her injuries and will be ready to compete at her best come August,” explained Barras.
“She’s a tough and determined girl, and I have no doubt she will come out firing.”
Selection in the Australian Olympic team would cap off an amazing comeback for Meares, who, only three months ago, was seriously injured when she came off her bike at the LA World Cup, a crash that put her in a neck brace and threatened to end her Beijing aspirations.
Deciding to skip the recent world titles to continue focusing on rehabilitating her fractured C2 vertebra in her neck and severe shoulder injuries, the Olympic 200m sprint bronze medallist received a lifeline when international results at the championships fell in her favour, and the Australian’s sufficient ranking provided her with an opening on the start line for the women’s sprint in Beijing (the 500m time trial is no longer an Olympic event).
The Australian team will depart soon after Revolution 3 for their pre-Beijing training camps in Germany and Italy, and Barras believes the event will play a vital role in their final Olympic preparations.
“It’s perfect timing as part of our preparations for Beijing. Revolution 3 will give the team a great hit out in front of a big crowd and they’ll be able to replicate some of the atmosphere and pressure they’ll get at the Olympics,” continued Barras.
In addition to the Australian team, the ever-improving Malaysians will be racing, with cyclists from New Zealand, Japan, China and the United States also invited. A number of Australia’s European-based pros have also been invited back for the event.
Following on from the sell-out at Revolution 2 in December, the third installment of the Revolution series in Australia will be just as exciting and innovative.
“It will be a big time track meet with all the Revolution trimmings, including a DJ, special lighting effects and of course the infield-bar and dining,” explained Event Director Harry Hart.
“We’re working on adding even more theatre to our events. The racing will be first rate; it’s a matter of presenting it in an entertaining way that leaves the crowd keen to come back. Of course a spectacular crash is always good!”
Hart is referring to what many around the world have called “The Crash of the Century”, which occurred at Revolution 2 when 13 of the 17 Future Stars field went down on the last lap, with Bendigo teenager Toby Dite cart wheeling out of control along the perimeter fence for nearly ten metres.
That crash has had over one million hits on YouTube (Search: Revolution 2 Cycling Crash) making it one of the top-10 all time viewed sports clips in Australia.
“Certainly the spectacular crash gave Revolution 2 some excellent exposure. Incredibly none of the riders were seriously injured and many of these talented juniors will be returning to compete in Revolution 3,” Hart concluded.
Thursday, 12 June 2008
Vodafone Arena, Melbourne
Tickets for Revolution 3 are available from Ticketek on 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au
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