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Simon Jones: Australia’s first Olympics goal is making it to the start line

Simon Jones: Australia’s first Olympics goal is making it to the start line

Simon Jones was brought into AusCycling to turn around the nation’s Olympic Games medal performance, but regardless of how well the athletes have been prepared…

Tuesday, Jul 20

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Simon Jones was brought into AusCycling to turn around the nation’s Olympic Games medal performance, but regardless of how well the athletes have been prepared for Tokyo the Brit is acutely aware that even having a shot at a medal winning performance can’t be taken for granted.

The team is hitting its ambitious targets on the track , while the road selection includes riders that have delivered top results in some of the biggest races on the calendar and worn the rainbow stripes. There is a mountain biker that stood on last year’s World Championship podium and the BMX squad boasts a recently-crowned world champion. Though, with the Tokyo Games being held in the middle of a global pandemic, ensuring those riders actually get a chance to race is no simple matter.

“This Games is unique and extraordinary, getting on the start line is actually a goal. All it takes is one close contact with COVID,” Jones, AusCycling’s performance director, told Cyclingnews in an interview last week, before he announced that he’d be leaving the role after the Olympics. “Everyone has got to travel internationally … we’ve got to make sure people are healthy and we are really strict with social distancing and preventative measures.

“If we get to the start line, I think we’ve got a chance and we’ve got multiple chances across the 22 medal events."

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