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Baxter's bike debut put on hold

Track cycling
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Former Olympic skier Alain Baxter has been forced to put his debut as a competitive cyclist on hold after flu ruled him out of the national track cycling championships this weekend.

The 35-year-old retired from skiing earlier this year because of a back problem, but is now keen to establish himself as a track cyclist.

For someone of his age, who has been taking part in such a physically demanding sport as skiing, how realistic a proposition do you think this is? Is cycling the sort of sport where other skills and fitness are adaptable, or is it uniquely demanding, and is he wasting his time? Your thoughts and opinions please...

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posted Oct 20, 2009

Harsh punishment particularly as the substance found was laevomethamphetamine (ie the decongestant version) rather than dextromethamphetamine (the stimulant). The authorities had access to this information yet still chose to disqualify Baxter.

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posted Oct 20, 2009

Yes but at 35, and the strengh and depth at we have, I don't think at he will be able to truumph

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comment by Paolo73 (U3522887)

posted Oct 20, 2009

Yeah he was stitched up for sure, and he seems like a nice guy so I felt bad for him.

I think he could probably be competitive and nothing more, but good luck to him.

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posted Oct 20, 2009

I just hope that's he's competitive, it is very late to be moving over to cycling, bu i do believe that use to be part of his training regime for his skiing, and as mentioned above, when younger he used to train alot in and around the velodrome.

He got the motivation alright, to be stripped of your medal in the manner that his was must have been devastating.

I hope he does well, maybe even get to the commonwealths, and be competitive enough to help push our youngsters on to better things.

Good luck Alain, it's about time you got some.

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posted Oct 20, 2009

That's a no brainer - he was a faulty skier and could not compete even for Scotland on the bike track at 25 let alone 35!

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posted Oct 20, 2009

It's such a shame that he's been ruled out of The Main Event. We're genuinely interested in how he will cope with the change.

A lot of people will think of Baxter as a bit of an Imposter on a bike. But good luck to him...

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comment by Ponty1 (U9235186)

posted Oct 20, 2009

He might do it, just might. I do not believe, unlike some here, that at 35 he is too old. But he'll have to train very hard. In cycling, particularly the longer events, age is a bonus. An acquaintance of mine became British 24 hr TT champion at the age of 30 and repeated the feat at 50. I became my local club 24 hr champion at the age of 45.
I don't think that Baxter will be competitive in the shorter events, particularly sprints etc. Good luck to him.

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posted Oct 20, 2009

I'm thinking he wants to be competitive in more high profile events though. That's why he's concentrating on the track and I'm guessing that only. He doesn't have enough time to chop and change now.

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posted Oct 21, 2009

The only thing potentially against him is his age with possibly only a couple of years to train & compete.

Having said that, he's a very fit guy and is likely still highly motivated (you have seriously motivated to be to try and compete as a British skier for that long). He has always used cycling as part of his training, although it's tended to be mountain biking. I suspect he's finally accepted he can't continue in skiing and sees cycling as his last chance. And quite sensibly he sees track as being a better opportunity than mountain/road.

Shame we'll have to wait until a little longer to see how he does.

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posted Oct 22, 2009

There's a part of me that thinks he's had his chance, and if it's a choice between focussing on training him up, or a youngster, I'd say "go young" every time. Am I right in thinking his withdrawn medal was the best he'd ever got? All I ever remember seeing him doing is end up mid-table in the skiing (but I wasn't ever paying much attention). If he's funding himself, that's all good, but unless he's a superb, unquestionable talent, British Cycling should be putting their effort into the next generation.

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