LLOYD ENJOYING EARLY-SEASON FORM

Britain?s Daniel Lloyd (Cervélo) is enjoying some early-season form and put in a remarkable performance to snatch 9th at the Eroica.

Staying in Italy, Lloyd then rode Tirreno-Adriatico. ?It was good in general,? explained Lloyd to cyclingweekly.co.uk.

?In the first days I was working for Thor [Hushovd] and Simon Gerrans, who was the GC rider in the team. Unfortunately, he crashed on the fourth stage and was out of contention, but I gave me some freedom to ride for myself. I made the front group over the wall of a climb on stage four and generally felt very strong, even if I did finish at the back of that group!

?The TT was disappointing and the long mountainous stage was hard, but I recovered well from it and felt good the final day, and I feel like I?ve already recovered well, so I?m hoping it will have brought me on well ready for the one day race that I?ve got coming up, the next of which is Brabantse Pijl on March 28,? said Lloyd.


BLYTHE BACK IN ACTION

A bout of tendonitis looked set to scupper Adam Blythe?s early-season plans, but he appears to be recovering well and is now back on the bike training.

Assuming there are no further setbacks, he is scheduled to start in the GP Wilfried Peeters, an open elite and U23 semi-classic race on March 22 in the Mol area of Flanders.


LOCAL CYCLING BOOST AS TFL CALLS ON CYCLISTS TO BIT FOR FUNDING

Transport for London (TfL) is calling all Londoners and organisations that are passionate about cycling in the Capital to submit applications for grants of up to £5,000 to help them promote cycling activities in their communities. There are now just two weeks left to apply, with the deadline coming on April 3.

The fund, administered by the London Cycle Campaign (LCC) is to assist the development of events and projects which encourage people to cycle and to make cycling an activity that is open to all Londoners.

It seeks to support those projects that build the confidence of infrequent or new cyclists from all types of backgrounds ? especially groups such as women, children and young people.

Peter McBride, Head of Cycling, Walking and Accessibility, at TfL said: ?We believe cycling offers fantastic potential for change and want to help you turn your ideas into actions – the Community Cycling Fund for London is there to help you achieve this.?

London Cycling Campaign Community Cycling Officer Rosie Tharp said: ?We can help groups and organisations plan cycling projects and events that will enable everyday Londoners to experience the joys of riding a bike. If you have an idea, we can help you turn that idea into a successful funding bid so please get in touch to see how we can help.?

For more details on the CCFfL grant criteria, visit the LCC website at -http://www.lcc.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=16


24-HOUR CYCLE CHALLENGE

A new thigh-busting, brute of a cycle challenge ? Ride 24 ? has been launched by the Action Medical Research charity.

Inspired by the Le Mans 24 Hour race, this is a unique team relay bike race that takes place at Dunsfold aerodrome, home to the Top Gear test track, on June 27-28.

The competitive event will be won by the team that completes the most laps, and therefore travels furthest, in 24 hours. In addition to prizes for the team that cycles the furthest and for the fastest women?s and veterans? teams, there will also be the chance to win prizes for fastest lap and the longest stint.

Teams will be given a transponder, an electronic chip that will be fitted to their bikes and will enable cycling times to be electronically recorded.

Tactically teams can choose how long each cyclist rides for: they can ride for as long or as little as they wish.

At stake is the first-ever Ride 24 title and medals for gold, silver and bronze teams. The medals will be presented at a gala lunch on June 28 by Olympic and World Champion, Nicole Cooke.

The event costs £200 per team to enter and a commitment to raise a total of £2,400 per team in sponsorship. For more information visit www.action.org.uk.


SWIFT SECOND IN BELGIUM

Ben Swift (Katusha) took his finest result as a professional to date this week, with a superb second place in the Belgian semi-Classic, Nokere Koerse.

It?s Swift?s third top-ten of the year after taking 8th at GP Lugano and 10th and the Giro dell?Insubria.

Read the full story here.


WEEKEND RACING

With no major road races on this weekend, elite riders will be spread the length and breadth of the country looking to warm up for next week?s Premier Calendar, the Tour of the Reservoir.

Corley Cycles field a full-strength team in the High Wycombe event in Buckinghamshire and the squad?s Simon Gaywood and Matt Higgins will be among the favourites. A trio of Plowman Craven-Madison men, including the in-form James Millard, take them on.

A busy weekend for racing in the area starts with the Oxonian 31-mile time trial near High Wycombe on Saturday. Roadies James Stewart (Kinesis KUK) and Danny Axford (Arctic Premier) test their legs against triathlete Rob Engers (Shorter Rochford).

Former junior BAR Sam Barker (Planet X) and Matt Bottrill (De Rosa) head the field in the hilly 31-mile event near Towcester promoted by A5 Rangers. Barker returns for the same club’s 10 the following day as course and event record holder.

Ben Instone (www.scientific-coaching.com) has been the man to beat so far this season and he will be in action at the SCCU 25 on Sunday.

RELATED LINKS

Wednesday?s British news round-up

Monday?s British news round-up

Have you got a good story? Don?t sit on it, get in touch: andrew_canning@ipcmedia.com