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Rogers going for fourth World title

8 September 2006

Australia’s top road cyclists will chase World Championship glory in Salzburg, Austria from September 19 with all eyes will be on Michael Rogers as he chases a fourth consecutive world time trial title.

He will be challenged by five-time Olympic medallist Brad McGee and Tour de France hero Cadel Evans.

Selectors have the difficult task of cutting their extended list of 17 to nine for the men’s road race. Stuart O’Grady, Robbie McEwen, Simon Gerrans, Luke Roberts, Matt White and Mark Renshaw are all in the mix along with the time trial trio.

Commonwealth time trial champion Oenone Wood will fly the flag in the race against the clock with Barcelona 1992 road race gold medallist Kathy Watt.

In the road race Wood will be joined by Commonwealth road race champion Natalie Bates, Kate Bates, Olivia Gollan, Emma Rickards and Jenny MacPherson.

Mountain bikes with work to do

Australian mountain bike coach Damian Grundy is optimistic about the Beijing Olympics, even though Australia failed to come close to medaling in Olympic events at the World Mountain Bike Championships in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Sid Taberlay was 31st and fellow Commonwealth Games rider Chris Jongewaard was 37th in the senior men’s elite race. And there were no women entered in the senior race at all.

"I'm really heartened by Chris and Sid, it's been a long year and they've really stuck the year out," Grundy said.

"They finished right about where they should have, when you look at their ranking, and that's ahead of where we've been the last couple of years.

"So for next year these guys have got to see this as a really positive performance, take a lot from it."

Sam Hill and Tracey Hannah won gold and Nathan Rennie won bronze in the non-Olympic downhill events.

Renee Junga Appeal launched

Tragedy struck before the Championships even began. Twenty-year-old Renee Junga, who won a silver medal at last years World BMX Championships in France, crashed on August 22 while training on the 4X (Four-Cross) course.

Junga broke the C1 and C2 bones in her neck and suffered spinal trauma at the T6 vertebrae. She also suffered two broken ribs and a fractured sternum. Surgeons operated to fuse together the bones in her neck and to insert a surgical rod and screws to stabilise her spine. She remains in Auckland City Hospital recovering from the surgery but is expected to fly back to Brisbane late this month where she will initially be admitted to the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Bicycle Motocross Australia, Cycling Australia and Mountainbike Australia jointly launched an appeal for Renee on Wednesday.

"The purpose of the appeal is to raise funds to assist Renee with the challenges she faces in the future," said Cycling Australia CEO, Graham Fredericks. "A number of fund-raising efforts have already commenced in Australia and New Zealand and this support is greatly appreciated by Renee and her family. "Renee is a very strong and determined young woman and we all wish her well with her rehabilitation," said BMXA Australia President, Graham Arnold.

On Wednesday she achieved a milestone when she sat upright for the first time.

Details of how to contribute to the appeal are available on the Cycling Australia website www.cycling.org.au


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