U.S. CYCLISTS HADN'T WON AN OLYMPIC MEDAL IN 72 YEARS, and then at
the L.A. Games they won nine. This was in part a boycott windfall.
The Soviet Union and East Germany have long dominated on the track
and will again be the powers in Seoul. Only one entrant per country
is allowed in track events. Viatcheslav Ekimov and Guintautas Umaras
of the U.S.S.R. have traded 4,000-meter individual-pursuit gold and
silver medals in the last three world championships; whoever comes
from the U.S.S.R., conquers. In the 1,000-meter individual sprint,
world champion Lutz Hesslich of East Germany has the edge.
But there are hopes outside of Eastern Europe. One is Martin
Vinnicombe of Australia, who is a favorite in the kilometer time
trial, which cyclists call the killermeter. Marat Ganaev of the
U.S.S.R. is the world champion in the 50K points race, but Dan Frost
of Denmark and Uwe Messerschmidt of West Germany are medal threats.
And world champion Erika Salumiaee of the Soviet Union and 1984
Olympic speed skating (500-meter) gold medalist Christa Rothenburger-
Luding of East Germany should be challenged by Connie Young of the
U.S. in the 1,000-meter match sprint.
The best road warriors are Jeannie Longo of France, Maria Canins
of Italy and Inga Benedict of the U.S. in the women's individual
race, and the Italian men in the team time trial. The men's
individual road race is wide open. The course in Seoul is unusually
flat, with only one modest hill; a strong sprinter should prevail.
This is an article from the Sept. 14, 1988 issue