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By Connie Carpenter
If I were to write the perfect classified ad to recruit top female athletes to track cycling it would look like this:
Tired of your current sport? You might have an Olympic future in Cycling! Oarswomen, listen up – Rebecca Romero of England came from a top career as a single sculler to win a silver medal in cycling in less than 365 days. Add another year to that and she’s a double World Cycling Champion, supported by the best funding in women’s cycling. And to top it off, the crowds and media LOVE her, she’s a national hero. What more could a girl want?
BMXers consider this, you too can be a World Cycling Champion as Shanaze Reade has shown us by winning the Team sprint competition with British teammate Victoria Pendleton basically at the same time as being a world champion BMX racer.
We could use some fresh talent on the U.S. team. Wanted: a few good women! There are two new team events for women and not enough top U.S. women! The medals are there for the taking – only seven teams entered the team sprint and team pursuit events. The top three earn medals!
Nordic skiers and speed skaters come in out of the cold!
I came over from speed skating and never looked back. Cycling is more fun, more exciting and definitely a place to find success with the fitness gained from tough cross-over sports like inline skating, cross country running….you get the point.
I spent some time chatting with Marion Clignet – 10-time French champion, six-time world champion, world record holder from 1996-2000 and most recently, the former record holder here in Manchester. Her record only fell yesterday to none other than Rebecca Romero. Marion could have won all those titles for the U.S. as she holds dual citizenship but she chose to ride for France. While she’s offered support to former World Champion Sarah Hammer, she’s not been part of the U.S. program. Maybe it’s time to bring Marion back to the USA?
WANTED: women’s track cycling program
Know this, Marion’s got the know-how, the energy, and more than anything, the fire to develop a world class cycling program.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a program like the Brit’s who now have equaled their world gold medal haul from last year’s Worlds – and that with two days left in the competition. All the other countries can say is, “ouch!”
They say they are doing it with funding from the lottery. Lucky for them, it’s paying off big time.
Filed from Manchester
Check out taylorphinney.com and visit the family biz at bikecamp.com.