5 Aug 2008

Cheatley gets early start to Olympics

11:16 am on 5 August 2008

Cyclist Catherine Cheatley will compete at the Beijing Olympics a week earlier than expected.

The Invercargill rider was originally selected for the points race in the second week of the Games but a late vacancy in the road race this Sunday has seen her Olympic schedule brought forward.

Cheatley joins Joanne Kiesanowski in the 126km event.

Cheatley's selection for the road race has meant some hasty re-organisation for of her schedule.

She will now fly into Beijing today, ahead of the track team.

BikeNZ had hoped to have three riders in Sunday's road race but was allocated only one after the UCI ruled a key ranking race in the United States didn't have enough international teams to warrant its original status.

BikeNZ High Performance Director Mark Elliott says Cheatley's been riding well for her team in the United States and was the strongest candidate for the second spot, just ahead of Rosara Joseph, who'll compete in the mountain bike.