Racing News

Team USA Gets Booted From Denver Park

Cop Threatens to Cite World Team for Speeding ... (But Officer, Aren't They Supposed to Skate Fast?)

By Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

A Denver police officer today threatened to write the U.S. World team a speeding ticket.

The team's 12-member marathon squad was training in Washington Park when the officer ordered them to stop, said team manager Linda Wood.

The officer had been sitting in an unmarked car with a radar gun. He told team members that he had clocked them skating on a trail at more than 25 miles an hour.

The posted speed limit for the trail was 15 mph.

The officer threatened to cite team members for speeding. But after they explained their situation, he relented and instead, ordered them to leave the park.

"He asked us to leave and to 'please' not come back," Wood said.

The incident points to a perennial problem facing the U.S. World Team.

Each year, it spends two weeks in residence at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to prepare for the annual Inline World Championships.

The team uses the nearby 7-Eleven Velodrome to train for track events.

But the center lacks a suitable road course for long-distance training.

Team managers have found suitable roads in the area for practices. But once the practices begin, the police often break them up, citing local laws against skating on public streets, Wood said.

Team managers had hoped to find better luck in Denver, 68 miles to the north. But things didn't work out that way.

"Technically, we don't have a road course where we can practice right now," Wood said. "But we will keep looking until we find one."

Today was the first day of the team's two-week stay at the Olympic Training Center.

The Inline World Championships start Aug. 26th in Souzhou, China.

(posted on July 29th, 2005)



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Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

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