All eyes may well be on France during July, but the British Olympic team are quietly getting on with their last minute preparations. Here’s what’s been going on.
TEMPORARY RAPHA LINE-UP FOR SACHEN TOUR
The Rapha Condor Recycling team head to the Netherlands for the Sachen Tour on July 23, with Jonny Bellis and Ben Swift being draughted in for some last minute preparation for the Olympic road race. Both Swift and Bellis ride for the Olympic Academy squad (in 100% ME colours in races in the UK) but will wear the black and white of R-C-R for the five-day stage race in Germany. The pair have been given two of the four places on the Olympic road race team ahead of more experienced riders to prepare them for London 2012. John Herety will be managing the team that also includes Kristian House, Dean Downing and Chris Newton (who travels to Beijing to compete in the points race.)
DENMARK OFFERS LAST MINUTE RACE PREPARATION
Both Stephen Cummings (Barloworld) and Roger Hammond (Team Columbia) will head to Denmark for the countries national tour before flying straight out to China for the men?s road race on August nine. Double Tour stage winner Mark Cavendish had also looked at riding the six-day race, although this depends on whether or not he makes it to Paris on July 27.
LAWS ON ROAD TO RECOVERY
Sharon Laws is reported to be making excellent progress from her fractured ankle, and resumed training on the road this Monday. The Halford?s Bikehut rider was forced to miss the recent National Championships after she crashed during training but kept her Olympic dreams alive by training on her turbo.
COOKE TAKES DELIVERY OF NEW BIKE
Nicole Cooke?s new Boardman bike arrived in Switzerland yesterday. Cooke is the first of the Halfords Bikehut riders to get the 2009 full carbon bike that wont be available in the shops until early next year. The plan is for Cooke to set it up to her liking, try it out in some races in Italy, then ride it to victory in the Olympic road race. Simple.
HOY TO RACE IN GERMANY
Double world track champion Chris Hoy will do one last race before he flies to Beijing. Hoy heads to the Grand Prix Erfurt in Germany with British Cycling?s sprint coach Jan Van Eijden to compete in various sprint events as a last minute sharpener.
WALES HEATS UP
Newport in South Wales may have a nice 250 metre track for the British track squad to train on prior to the Olympics, but the environment isn?t quite the same as Beijing. BC are addressing this by bringing their own altitude and humidity tents with them to the Celtic Manor to help the riders adapt to the conditions. Apparently the smog tent hasn?t been finished in time for them to use.