COUTTS IN TAIWAN

Britain?s Alex Coutts (Heraklion-Nessebar) is currently in action at the Tour de Taiwan.

Coutts finished 57th in today?s stage, a bunch sprint into Hsinchu City, won by Seon Ho Park (Seoul Cycling Team).

The Briton is currently lying 13th overall, 0-44 down on the current race-leader, Peter McDonald (Drapac Porsche) with one stage remaining.


BRITS IN BELGIUM

Britons Ben Swift (Katusha) and Matt Brammeier (AN Post) will head to Belgium next week for the Nokere-Koerse semi-Classic.

See this week?s Cycling Weekly for an interview with Brammeier.


RACING AT THE WEEKEND

Bikeline Two-Day

The UK road season gets serious on Saturday with the start of the Bikeline Two-Day, the opening round of the Premier Calendar series.

All the top home teams are well represented in the 120-strong field. Rapha Condor bring in Tom Southam and Darren Lapthorne in place of Dan Craven and Mike Rudling to join a full-strength eight-man squad.

Halfords Bikehut has started the season flying, with wins for Rob Hayles (Clayton Velo Spring Classic) and Ed Clancy (Eddie Soens) already under the belt. With double stage winner from 2008, Ian Wilkinson, now in the colours of Halfords, they will be the team to beat.

CandiTV-Pinarello has favoured training camps over races in February but Russell Downing is sure to be raring to go in defence of his Premier Calendar crown.

Racing gets underway at 11am on Saturday with the 1.6km prologue in Hope, Flintshire.

See the Cycling Weekly big preview for details.

Wally Gimber

The 50th running of this South-East classic takes in 75 miles of Kent countryside near Tenterden on Sunday.

Previous winners include the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Tony Gibb and Simon Gaywood, but the clash of dates with the Bikeline means most of the top teams head for North Wales, leaving the Wally Gimber wide open.

Sports Beans-Wilier field a strong line-up, led by the experienced Grant Bayton and veteran Ben Luckwell. New squad BMC has 2000 winner Andy Lyons at the helm, while Rob Hurd (DHC Colnago) goes for his fourth victory in the event. Norwood Paragon?s Chris Moores is a good bet for a podium position.

The Wally Gimber trophy will be presented by Brian Dacey of De Laune CC, winner of the inaugural event in 1960. For further details, go to www.dulwichparagon.com.

Pendle Forest TT

The Pendle Forest CC time trial takes place tomorrow and will be a good early-season form guide.


HAYLES RETIRES FROM TRACK RACING

Rob Hayles has announced his retirement from track cycling after being over-looked for the upcoming World Championships in Poland.

We spoke to Hayles in depth about how he felt about the decision and where he goes from here.


HALFORDS INCREASES INVOLVEMENT IN BRITISH RACING SCENE

British Cycling announced this week that Halfords would be backing the season long Premier Calendar series.

The company already backs a British professional team and is a partner of BC, now they have stepped in to help grow the elite series.

>>>Read the full story here.


BRITISH TRACK SQUAD PICKED BUT NOT ANNOUNCED

British Cycling’s selection panel yesterday picked the team that would be traveling to Poland next week.

The list of names was submitted to the UCI today, but BC are keeping it guarded secret until Monday.

>>>Read our story here.

Got any news? We want to hear about it. Contact andrew_canning@ipcmedia.com