TOP STORIES THIS WEEK:
Cavendish wins again at the Tour of Switzerland
Southam powers to Tour Series win in Colchester
Sky launches first step in new cycling programme
Downing takes first win in Stoke but Halfords lead
King honoured by Queen
COOKE SECOND ON FIRST STAGE IN TRENTINO
Whilst Emma Pooley took the first stage of the Grande Boucle in France, Nicole Cooke proved that her form is where it needs to be with the National Championships just one week away.
Cooke was second on the first stage of the Giro di Trentino in Italy, with her Vision 1 team-mates controlling the race to ensure it came down to a bunch sprint.
On the line, it was Regina Schleicher who snatched the win just ahead of Cooke.
Today’s stage will be the decisive one, however, with climbs from the start of the stage concluding with a 7km ascent from the Trento valley, with the last kilometre at 14%.
Above: Nicole Cooke back on the podium again
NIKKI HARRIS IN ACTION IN HOLLAND
Nikki Harris of the Flexpoint team is currently riding the RaboSter Zeewsche Eilanden stage race in the Netherlands.
Harris was 10th in the opening prologue, behind some formidable opponents, like Ina Teutenberg and Chantal Beltman (both Columbia-High Road).
“Four of our team were in the top ten,” Harris told Cycling Weekly, “so I’m sure for the next two stages we will be working hard for Loes Gunnewijk to try and get her on the top spot as currently she is lying second place overall”.
HERE’S MY BRIGHTON IDEA
While many of the participants in this Sunday’s (June 21) London to Brighton ride will be happy enough to finish, a group of eight cyclists are setting themselves their own unique, and bizarre, challenge.
They aim to ride from London to Brighton, travel back to London and then ride to Brighton a second time with the aim of finishing ahead of the last finisher.
“We’ve all entered triathlons and the London to Brighton before and I’d heard of people cycling back to London afterwards,” explained Ian Ogborn, the man behind idea.
“So then we came up with the idea of finishing it twice before the last rider finishes.
“I think we can realistically cover the 56 miles in 3¼ hours. We’re hoping for logistics problems for people so they are late in starting.
“We’re doing it for charity after all, so hopefully it’ll work,” said Ogborn.
The ride will be in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
Above: the ‘London to Brighon x2’ team
STRONG FIELD FOR TOM SIMPSON GP
An 80-strong field will take to the start of the under-19 Tom Simpson GP this weekend in Harworth.
Last year’s winner Chris Whorrall from the Manx Telecom squad will be joined by big teams from BC West Midlands and Glendene CC, who will be fielding David Nichols, who was a close second behind Whorrall last year.
Other names to watch out for are Felix English (Corridori), who was been causing a stir with his performances in circuit races in the South, and Tim Kennaugh, brother of Pete, who was seventh last year and winner of the recent Gorey Three Day.
MEDALLISTS AND LOCAL HEROES MEET FOR OTLEY RACES
It may be a traditional fixture on Otley’s social and sporting calendar, but this year’s edition is moving forward.
There are new race sponsors, a new format for the youth riders and new teams featuring in both the professional and amateur events. There are even new lead and VIP cars, courtesy of KT Green, who join the event as a major sponsor for the first time.
Confirmed names for the men’s elite circuit race are Rob Hayles, Chris Newton and Ed Clancy whilst local girl, Lizzie Armitstead, will headline the MSolutions Management Classic Race.
Chevin Cycles Otley Cycle Races, Wednesday June 24 from 7pm. Circuit based on Bondgate, Otley town centre, West Yorkshire.
BARGAIN BIKE FROM LIDL
Lidl may be renowned for selling food at bargain prices, but until now it has not been the place to go to look for a new bike.
The supermarket chain is offering a Stratos aluminium-framed bike, with carbon forks and a full Shimano Ultegra groupset for just £749.
See http://www.lidl.co.uk/uk/home.nsf/pages/c.o.20090622.p.Road_Racing_Bike.ar1 for more information.