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Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 12:41 UK

Bellis prepares for Beijing start

Jonny Bellis
Bellis is one of only two Manxmen in the Beijing Olympics

Manx cyclist Jonny Bellis is one of the first British competitors in action at the Beijing Olympic Games on Saturday.

Coach Rod Ellingworth said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for Jonny, he is only 19 years old and will be going to Beijing without any pressure to win.

"He is an incredible talent and Beijing will be great for his development."

Bellis told BBC Isle of Man: "I'm hoping to win gold in the London Olympics in 2012 and this will be the best training I could hope for."

He added: "It's vital for me to see how the top cyclists cope with pressure."

The men's road race is this Saturday when Bellis will team up with Steve Cummings, Roger Hammond and Ben Swift.

The course is through many of the districts of Beijing and is over a distance of 245.4km or seven laps.

The forecast for Saturday is hot at 33 degrees Celsius with the possibility of heavy showers.

The cycling road races are one of the events causing concern for the organisers due to the pollution levels in the Chinese capital.

Wednesday's air quality is six times below the World Health Organisation's recommended minimum safe level.

The International Olympic Committee has said endurance events lasting more than one hour could be delayed if the pollution is too bad.

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see also
Bellis 'will learn from Beijing'
24 Jul 08 |  Cycling
Team GB for Beijing
21 Jul 08 |  Team GB
Olympic Dreams
29 Nov 07 |  London 2012

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