TOP STORIES THIS WEEK
Pendleton models for Green Britain Day
Brits in Belgium: European Championships
Perrett takes European junior TT win
Hoy given prestigious Edinburgh win

HUNT AND FLEEMAN IN AUSTRIA
Jeremy Hunt and Dan Fleeman may not be riding in this year’s Tour de France, but they have been selected to ride the prestigious Tour of Austria in July instead.

The eight-stage event covers 1208km from Dornbirn to Vienna, including two mountain stages and an individual time trial from July 5-12.

As a special gesture of recognition for women’s cycling, the Austrian national time trial champion, Christiane Soeder from the Cervélo women’s team, will participate non-competitively as the only woman in the individual time trial over 26.3 km on Saturday, July 11.

Cervélo team for the Tour of Austria: Xavier Florencio (ESP), Daniel Fleeman (GBR), Jeremy Hunt (GBR), Ted King (USA), Joaquin Novoa (ESP), Oscar Pujol (ESP), Gabriel Rasch (NOR), Martin Reimer (GER)

POOLEY IN ITALY
The women’s Giro d’Italia, the Giro Donne, begins today near Florence with a 2.5km prologue and Emma Pooley will be there representing Cervélo.

“We have eight very strong ladies who will be at the start of the Giro d’Italia,” said Manel Lacambra, directeur sportif at the race.
 
“Including Olympic champion Kristin Armstrong, Olympic silver medalist Emma Pooley, Claudia Häusler, who finished third in last year’s Giro d’Italia, sprinter Kirsten Wild, Australian champion Carla Ryan, Sarah Düster, Patricia Schwager and Lieselot Decroix

“We already have 22 victories to our credit this year and we want to continue at this high performance level; that is our motivation. We know the races will be hard, especially with the hot weather in southern Italy, but I am confident that the team is up for the challenge and will produce great results,” said Lacambra.

CTC AIMING TO MAKE CYCLING MAINSTREAM
The CTC yesterday outlined its proposals to make cycling a mainstream activity in the UK, which is both a long and short-term strategy.

Chris Peck, policy co-ordinator at CTC, believes the time is now right for ‘making cycling mainsteam’. He said: “Cycling ticks every box the government could wish for. It is good for our health, for streets and communities, our environment and our quality of life. People of all ages, income groups and backgrounds can enjoy the benefits it brings.’
 
In response, Jonathan Porritt, chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, said: “This isn’t a novel idea – but it’s one whose time has come. At the very least, we should aim to double cycling levels within ten years. The bicycle is the most efficient and environmentally benign form of transport ever invented; we know it’s good for health, and we look forward to a world in which it’s taken for granted that both we and our children can get around cheaply and independently by bike.”
 
The SDC’s endorsement of CTC’s proposals comes two days after the Government announced plans for a new National Cycle Plan and an Active Transport Strategy, as part of Gordon Brown’s ‘Building Britain’s Future’ programme, announced in Parliament in Monday.
 
“It is very encouraging that the Government has renewed its interest in cycling, Peck continued.

“However this should not be seen as a party political issue and we hope all parties will support the development of the new plans. Previous efforts suffered from over-ambitious targets which lacked the funding and wider policy support needed to meet them. This time we know what works. With the right incentives, policies and funding commitments in place, there is no reason why we can’t double cycle use and halve the risks of cycling within 10 years”.


SUSTRANS HONOURED AT CMO AWARDS

Sustrans has been honoured ahead of some 150 health organisations at the inaugural Chief Medical Officer’s Public Health Awards for its success in helping people to lead more active lives.

The UK’s leading sustainable transport charity received the bronze award from Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer for England, in recognition of its range of practical projects encouraging people to cycle and walk more of their everyday journeys.

The seven short-listed finalists also included the Health and Economic Appraisal Tool for cycling (HEAT) developed by researchers including Sustrans’ Research and Monitoring Director Andy Cope – making Sustrans the only organisation to be represented twice.

Malcolm Shepherd, Chief Executive of Sustrans, said: “It is fantastic for a charity not directly working in the health sector to have this level of recognition. Our work over the past 30 years has allowed millions of people to travel more actively, which has a huge impact on peoples’ health. We are pleased that we have been recognised – it will be a great aid to our continuing work in promoting walking and cycling.”

Sustrans Active Travel Director Philip Insall said: “We are thrilled with this award because it underlines the growing awareness of how vital walking and cycling is to people’s health. The award scheme covers the whole wide realm of public health so it is testimony to the work Sustrans is doing that we are being recognised alongside these other outstanding organisations striving to improve people’s quality of life.

“Among the greatest health risks facing us today are ‘lifestyle diseases’ caused by poor nutrition and sedentary living in car-dominated towns and cities – Sustrans is offering the solutions to the latter.”