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  • Wed August 13 2008
  • Posted Aug 13, 2008
August 12. 2008 By John Riehl The Gazette john.riehl@gazettecommunications.com IOWA CITY — There is not much Jason McCartney has yet to experience in his decade-long career as a professional cyclist. The Coralville resident has toured the world on his bike, racing in more than 15 countries since getting his first passport in 1994 — five years before turning pro. During a stage of the Tour of Guatemala, McCartney broke his bike when he hit a dog on the course. Luckily, he was able to borrow a bike from a local resident to finish the day's race. Last Saturday, McCartney experienced a peril of a different variety during the Olympic road race in Juyongguan, China. The 143 starters battled heat and humidity on a demanding 152-mile course. McCartney, 34, was one of 53 riders who didn't finish the race. "This definitely was among my top 10 hardest races," McCartney told the Chicago Tribune. While the race didn't go as expected, McCartney is still a two-time Olympian, also having participated in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. McCartney's most memorable experience to date is winning a stage of the Tour of Spain in 2007. But the highlights don't stop there. "I had always dreamed about doing a Grand Tour and to win a stage was special," McCartney wrote in an e-mail to The Gazette. "Being on the winning Tour of Italy team (in 2005) and riding into Milan was definitely a special occasion. The racing is always exciting no matter where you are, but oftentimes (the special moments) are at the end of the day when you sit down with your teammates and staff and enjoy dinner and a little red wine. "That's when you sit back and really take it all in. I think the nice thing is that you just meet great people everywhere you go." McCartney, who rides for Team CSC, raced in the Tour of Austria, Sachsen Tour in Germany and the Tour of Denmark before flying to China for the Olympics. Even with two Olympic rides to his credit, one race is missing on his resume. "For me, I still would like to do the Tour de France," McCartney wrote. "This year, I will do both the Tour of Italy and the Tour of Spain, so we will see what next year brings." Contact the writer: (319) 339-3177 or john.riehl@gazcomm.com

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