Cycling McGregor in with a chance

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The Independent Online
Cycling

ROBIN NICHOLL

Yvonne McGregor wants to compete in Britain's first national indoor track championships at the National Centre, Manchester, where she broke the world hour record in June.

As a Commonwealth Games champion, the Bradford racer has more than enough credentials. She also has fractures to her collar-bone and shoulder blade, plenty of pluck, and a slim chance.

She will finally decide tomorrow whether to risk defending her British 3,000 metres pursuit crown on Wednesday on the 250-metre wooden track where 22 championships are due to be decided this week.

Three weeks ago McGregor pitched over her handlebars, but yesterday was on the road again. "I took a gentle ride for the first time since the accident," she said.

"There was some discomfort. I managed to ride out of the saddle, and now I am waiting to see if there is any reaction."

She was visiting her physiotherapist today. "I want to see if it is possible to strap my shoulder for extra support. I have not given up hope."

Graeme Obree is another fighter. The Scot opens the defence of his 4,000m title today, intent on keeping it for a third year.

He went to Sicily last year keen to hold on to his world 4,000m championship, but was disqualified because of his racing position, once famous, and then infamous when the Union Cycliste International changed the rules.

Before that he had used the position to break the world hour record twice, set the world 4,000m best, win a world title, and a fascinated following worldwide.

Now he is back with a legal racing position he likens to Superman in flight, as opposed to his outlawed downhill skier position, and he is out to show the world that the flying Scot is not finished.

He has raced in Greece, Germany, Japan and Australia this year, and set an Australian 4,000m record of 4min 27sec in Adelaide.

"If I can produce that kind of time at Manchester there is every possibility of my keeping the title," Obree said. His next target is a place in the World Championships, in Bogota in September.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 23

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