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British cycling team aims for 6 medals at Beijing Olympics
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09:47, July 25, 2008

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· Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
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Britain's cycling team aims for six Olympic medals at the forthcoming Beijing Games.

Speaking at a press conference in south Wales on Thursday, David Brailsford, performance director of the team, said the cycling team is now at its "best", world-class level. "We're ready to go, to race."

Steve Peters, sports psychiatrist with the team, also said that the team is going to Beijing "to be on the top step."

On the team are veterans from the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, namely, men's kilo gold medallist Chris Hoy, men's individual pursuit winner Bradley Wiggins, silver medallists for men's team pursuit Bradley Wiggins, Steve Cummings, Chris Newton and Paul Manning.

The cycling team also had remarkable performance during the World Track Championships this year in Manchester, snatching gold in eight events altogether.

This year, BMX will be first introduced to the Beijing Olympics. The British team has on the team the world's gold medallist of the 2008 World BMX Championships for the elite women, Shanaze Reade.

If British riders win the BMX gold at the Beijing games, it will be of "deep sporting significance" to the new event, said Shane Sutton, performance manager and head coach.

In his view, the BMX which young people like to play for its imagination, could be even more popular after the Olympics. And the Olympic cyclists would be "role models" for the youth to follow.

The biggest challenge, however, said Sutton, will be for the road riders and mountain bike riders, who will have to get used to the heat and humidity in Beijing.

All athletes will be exposed to the heat conditions in the chambers set up specifically to emulate the climate in Beijing. "Some will have four exposures (four one-hour sessions) in the chamber and others will have eight to adapt in advance to the Beijing climate.


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