KENNAUGH AND DOWSETT IMPRESS AGAIN IN ITALY

The under 23 Great Britain Academy riders continued to their run of impressive results in Italy at the weekend, with Pete Kennaugh finishing third and Alex Dowsett fourth in the Gran Premio Santini Ardelio race, near their base in Quarrata in Tuscany.

It was Kennaugh third result in three weeks after winning the GP Bastianelli and then the prestigious GP Capodarco race, while Dowsett?s fourth place confirmed how much he has improved in recent months.

Dowsett was away alone with 23km to go but was joined by Kennaugh, Russia?s Filippov and Italian Luca Iattici on the last descent and then Iattici managed to go clear and win on the final climb to the finish.

Both Brits will now focus on final training for the under 23 European track championships, while another Great Britain team lead by Ben Swift will ride the tough Giro delle Valle d?Aosta stage race in the Alps that begins on Tuesday.

BEIJING EFFECT: TRACK WORLD CUP SELLS OUT

The Manchester round of the track World Cup starting on October 31 has sold out following the outstanding performances of GB?s Olympic squad.

Demand for tickets surged as the medal haul increased and were all taken long before the closing ceremony on Sunday by fans keen to welcome home the victorious track riders.

Several of the Olympic team are expected to race as the quest for points towards next year’s World Championships in Poland continues.

Those unable to get tickets can still see the nation?s top riders ? and stars of the future ? in action at the National Track Championships starting on September 16. See the British Cycling website for details.

CAV GOES TO IRELAND

Mark Cavendish will be on the start line in Dublin on Wednesday as the Tour of Ireland heads for Waterford for the opening 192km stage.

Press officer Gerry McManus confirmed that Cav will be racing in the Team Columbia line-up. ?The teams are starting to arrive, the weather forecast is dry for the week and brightening at the weekend, so that?s good for the riders,? he said.

ITV4 will show daily highlights of the tour starting at 7pm on Wednesday, 27 August.

Cycling Weekly’s Tour of Ireland preview>>

DRAGON BACK IN JUNE

The sixth edition of the Dragon Ride will be on June 14, 2009, with the choice of 120 or 180km routes through the hills and valleys of South Wales starting and finishing in Bridgend. Entries for the ever-popular event open on December 27, 2008.

Organisers BreakAway Cycling are offering packages to the spectacular Cape Argus Cycle Tour in South Africa, with entrants automatically included in the Dragon Ride.

For further details on how to enter both events, see the BreakAway website.