If the Dutch cycling team don?t seem particularly cheerful in this year?s Olympics, it?s hardly surprising after the series of problems which have hit the team in Beijing.
Worst off by a long way was their team pursuiter Niki Terpstra, who crashed badly as he was riding to the Laoshan stadium for the qualifier this morning. When team-mate Robert Slippens braked, Terpstra went into him and over the handlebars.
His injuries was major: two broken arms, possible fractures in the sternum and a possibly fractured jawbone.
Reserve Jens Mouris, sleeping at the time, was given a wake-up call at the last minute to replace Terpstra, but the riders were delayed by the accident and hardly had time to warm up. Team morale, then was not the greatest when they finally took to the boards, finishing sixth.
That?s not all, either:yesterday Peter Pieters, the team coach, was struck by a rider at the velodrome and although initial suspicions of a broken hip turned out to be unfounded, he does have a broken cocycx bone in his lower back.
On a sporting level, things have not been going too well either. Theo Bos fell and was eliminated from the keirin on Saturday, whilst team-mate Teun Mulder was disqualified for not keeping his line.
That?s not all. Jenning Huizenga, who rode well against Wiggins in the final of the individual pursuit at Manchester, raced with poor morale after UCI offiicials decided his new handlebars weren?t inside the regulations. As he?d been using them since March, perhaps he should be forgiven for not clocking a great time in the individual pursuit qualifiers.
Although Theo Bos is through to the quarter finals of the sprints after clocking a poor qualification time this morning (nineth fastest), the pursuit squad, minus Terpstra, were knocked out by the Danes. Not an Olympics to remember – so far.
|OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: TRACK|
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|OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: GUIDE|
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