MCGEE AIMING TO STOP WIGGINS TAKING PURSUIT GOLDS

Australia?s Bradley McGee is aiming to stop Bradley Wiggins winning gold in the men?s individual and team pursuit events on the track and increase his own Olympic medal total in what will be the last Games of his long career.

32-year-old McGee has five Olympic medals – one gold, a silver and three bronze, won in the individual and team pursuit. He won bronze in both the individual and team pursuit in the 1996 Games in Atlanta when he was just 20 and then another bronze in Sydney in 2000. In Athens in 2004, he won an individual silver and team gold as Australia beat Great Britain in the final.

McGee crashed out early in this year’s Giro d?Italia but has since been working hard for the Olympics. He and the Australian team pursuit squad were well beaten at the track world championships in Manchester, but the Australians have brought back Graeme Brown, Brett Lancaster and Luke Roberts for the team pursuit, the same team that won gold in Athens in 2004.

“In all reality there’s no reason why I can’t go in chasing two gold medals, in the individual and team pursuit,? McGee recently told Australian media.

?Both are going to be highly competitive and involve some incredible performances to get the gold but it’s quite a real goal to have.?

MASKED US RIDERS APOLOGISE AFTER HITTING THE HEADLINES

The four US cyclists who hit the headlines on Tuesday for wearing anti-pollutions mask as they arrived in Beijing airport have apologised to the Games organisers in Beijing.

Mike Friedman, Bobby Lea, Sarah Hammer and Jennie Reed wore black masks as they pushed their trolley?s loaded with bikes and wheels out of arrivals in Beijing.

Smog has been a problem in Beijing but wearing the masks highlighted the issue and angered the Games organisers. Freidman claimed the riders wore the mask for health reasons but the US Olympic Committee later said the four had apologised.

“They’ve now seen how their actions have been perceived. They were very eager to take the right action, which was to apologise to their hosts,” Jim Scherr of USOC said.

“They have the right to wear masks if they feel it’s in their best interest to do so. Hopefully they won’t have to use them and the air quality will be good.”

Mike Friedman, who rides for the Garmin team and will take on Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish in the men?s Madison event on the track, spoke about why he wore the mask to the New York Times.

“This is really a surprise because I didn’t think it was going to be such a big deal. Why we wore the masks is simple: pollution. When you train your whole life for something, dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s, why wouldn’t you be better safe than sorry?”

SWITZERLAND?S ALBASINI OUT OF OLYMPIC ROAD RACE

Switzerland?s Michael Albasini became the unluckiest athlete in the Beijing Games after breaking his right collarbone while training for the road race.

The Liquigas rider has a multiple fracture. He was treated in the Athletes village but will soon head home for further treatment. With no time to bring in a replacement, Fabian Cancellara will be Switzerland?s only rider in Saturday?s men?s road race.

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