Cycling: Shining return for Pate

STEPHEN PATE, who was stripped of a bronze medal in Stuttgart last year, completed his rehabilitation yesterday with a silver medal in the world track championships, writes Robin Nicholl from Valencia.

Pate, and his fellow Australian, the world champion Carey Hall, were stripped of their sprint honours following a test that showed they had used steroids.

They returned to the world scene this week to little effect in the professional sprint, but yesterday Pate bounced back with a silver medal in the keirin final.

'It has been so hard over the last 12 months,' Pate said. 'My life has been a misery, but now I am back. I did not care what colour the medal was so long as I got one. I have had that much bad luck it is about time it swung my way.'

After his suspension ended, Pate's only previous taste of competition was when he was second to Hall in the Australian sprint championship.

'That is the only race I have had in 12 months,' Pate, who is now desperate for both more competition and cash, said.

John Crouchley, his team manager, said: 'He is broke, but as the silver medallist can expect some contracts for the keirin season in Japan.'

The title went to Germany's richest professional, Michael Huebner, who three days ago won the sprint championship.