Tough break in Beijing
Perhaps the best motto for anyone who participates in competitive sports is: Expect the unexpected. Every once in a while, things just don’t go right. Such was the case for Jeff Adams in his quarterfinals race at the Beijing Paralympic Games yesterday. Adams’ time in Beijing came to an unexpected end when he was disqualified after his heat. According to an article by Gary Kingston in The Vancouver Sun:
[Adams] was disqualified after he was ruled to have caused a crash that took out Yanfeng Cui of China and Alain Fuss of France. Canada appealed, but it was denied.
The 1,500 metres, the marquee event in wheelchair racing, was the only event Adams had entered.
“He was pretty disappointed,” said Canadian media attache Gabrielle Payette on Monday. “He said he didn’t feel he had caused the crash. He said he was pushed from behind and lost control.”
As Scott Russell described the action in a blog entry on the CBC web site:
In the men’s 1500M heats Canadian Jeff Adams got involved in a crash at the bell lap as he swerved to the outside. Two chairs capsized and Adams wavered momentarily only to charge back and claim a spot in the top four. There were expletives on the part of the French competitor who confronted Adams in the interview area after the race. Emotions ran high because so much was at stake in this gladiator’s forum.
Adams’ untimely exit from the competition is not the kind of thing that any athlete at any level wants to experience. After having worked so tirelessly to clear his name, and after having put together his own race just to qualify for the Canadian team, it’s a shame that Jeff Adams won’t be competing in the finals tomorrow.
And now for some news on the Landis front…
The ever intrepid Bonnie D. Ford managed to track Floyd Landis down and get the story about what’s going on with his much speculated on move to Momentum Sports Group’s cycling team (with a sponsor to be named later) for 2009. According to her report:
Landis confirmed reports that he is in talks with Momentum Sports Group — based in Oakland, Calif. — which owns and operates a team primarily sponsored by the Health Net insurance company.
“I’d like to be somewhere where I have a lot of say in what I do and what I don’t do,” Landis said. He added that after a lengthy period during which he let his physical condition slide, he is now riding 300 to 500 miles weekly and watching his diet.
“It feels good to be in shape — I never really understood that until I got really out of shape,” Landis said.
Well, I can certainly say what it’s like to be out of shape, having been there once or twice or more often than I’d like to admit. It feels infinitely better to be in shape.
At least part of reason that Landis’ deal hasn’t been signed yet, as Bonnie Ford reports, is because Momentum Sports Group has yet to land a title sponsor for the season. One rumored possibility of who might take over from Health Net is Smith & Nephew, the London-based company who manufactured Landis’ artificial hip. No word, however, on whether or not that part of the rumors that have been bandied about is true.
And, in commenting about the other big development in American cycling during the last week, it turns out that Floyd sounds as surprised as anyone about Lance Armstrong’s return to the sport. A possible Lance vs. Landis matchup in the Tour of California, and perhaps other races, will be very exciting to watch.
“In my experience with Lance, his main motivation when he rides is that he wants to prove something,” Landis said. “I wish him the best and I hope he gets out of it what he wants to, but I’m a little baffled as to what that might be. Maybe he just wants to race his bike.
“I think it’ll be good for the sport. It’s good to have the best bicycle racers in races. I look forward to racing against him.”
If you haven’t already seen the article, take the time to do so. Floyd sounds like he’s ready to race, and ready to move on with his life. Sounds good to me.