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Star Cyclist Won’t Travel Overseas

September 26, 2001

ANTWERP, Belgium (AP) _ Olympic champion Marty Nothstein was wary of traveling overseas and will not compete for the United States at the world track cycling championships.

Nothstein won the Olympic sprint title in Sydney, and had been scheduled to race in Wednesday’s 1-kilometer time trial and in Sunday’s Keirin final.

But because of the terrorist attacks, he did not accompany the team to Belgium. He wanted to stay with his wife, Christi, and their two children in Trexlertown, Pa.

``He didn’t want to come because of the events,″ U.S. coach Des Dickie. ``He did it for family reasons.″

Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong is not competing at the championships, but he is at the competition in a ceremonial role.

``Everybody has a right to make a decision like that,″ Armstrong said of Nothstein’s absence. ``I often think, what if that happens a week before the Tour de France? What would I do? What would we do? What would a sponsor like U.S. Postal do, which arguably could be a nice target?″

Armstrong admitted he felt uneasy on his international flight.

``Flying out of a place like JFK on an international flight on an American carrier full of fuel and the things we know that they look for,″ he said. ``Was I scared? Oh, yeah, very scared.″

Nothstein has won three world titles beside his Olympic gold. His absence clearly will hurt the U.S. team.

``We have a very young team and are here to be competitive,″ Dickie said.

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