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Swiss expect steep learning curve at cycling championships

Alexander Aeschbach is one of Switzerland's few medal hopes

(Keystone Archive)

Six Swiss are prepared to take part in cycling's world track championships, which start on Wednesday in the Belgian city of Antwerp. The participating Swiss are attempting to rebuild their team.

The national cycling association, Swiss Cycling, is not expecting strong results from its representatives, considering the heavyweight contenders from countries such as France, Germany and Australia. Rather, the cyclists hope to field a competitive team at the 2004 Olympic games in Athens.

Swiss Cycling is sending a younger group to Antwerp to gain some experience. The three members of the Olympic pursuit team, Mikael Lato, Martial Heer and Philipp Michel are all 20 years old.

Switzerland's best hope lies in the endurance events. Franco Marvulli and Alexander Aeschbach are competing in the Madison event, while veteran Bruno Risi retains an outside chance for a medal in the points race.

Marvulli will also take part in the individual pursuit event, while Lato lines up with the strongmen in the kilometre race.

The six-man squad is the biggest team Switzerland has been able to field in recent times. No Swiss women will be participating in the championships.

swissinfo with agencies

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