SEARCH 2000 Games

Tuesday, July 30, 1996
PROFILE: Alison Sydor
Ain't no mountain big enough for Sydor

By KEN FIDLIN -- Toronto Sun

ATLANTA -- Alison Sydor doesn't want to talk medals.

She'll speak for hours about mountain biking - and she'll get the dreamy, far-away look of an evangelist in her eyes when she does.

But medals? No, thanks. Makes her uncomfortable. Maybe catch up with her later today.

See, Sydor doesn't talk much about medals. She just wins them. Usually gold.

The Vancouver cyclist is the hottest thing in mountain biking, with a string of victories stretching back to last year, and today she goes for Olympic gold.

"I guess when you have a history of results, it's normal for you to be considered the favorite," she said.

"But this is the best of the best here. Nobody is conceding me anything."

The main competition standing between Sydor and the gold medal will be American Julie Furtado.

Sydor and her Canadian teammates Lesley Tomlinson, Andreas Hestler and Warren Sallenbach are looking at today's race as an opportunity to showcase their sport to a Canadian TV audience.

"In Canada, most people don't ever get to see anything of us in action," Sydor said. "If (our competitions) are covered at all, it's usually with just a camera or two. They have 33 camera positions on this course so they won't miss much of the action.

"This is going to be one of the most exciting events of the Olympic Games.

""I think it will surprise a lot of people who aren't familiar with it."

The men's race, 412 laps of the 12-kilometre course, is scheduled for 10 a.m. today.

The women's three-lap race on the same course goes at 2:30 p.m.
Alison Sydor in the news
Everything wrong for Sydor
Sydor finishes fifth in Sydney
Sydor takes silver in Sydney tune-up
Sydor in pictures
Racing in Sydney
A Sydney start
In action
Silver medallist
Wiping out