ACADEMY TEAM BANKING ON ITALIAN FORM
The Italian-based Great Britain Under 23 Academy riders will be back in Britain for the nationals just a week after finishing the amateur Giro d’Italia last Sunday.
Pete Kennaugh won the under 23 title last year when he finished second to Rob Hayles and wants to surprise the many European-based professionals riding this year.
Steven Burke, Mark Christian, Andrew Fenn, Russell Hampton, Pete Kennaugh, Jonathan McEvoy, Luke Rowe and Erick Rowsell will all ride in 100% ME colours and will be one of the strongest teams in the race despite their young age.
“Six days isn’t much time to recover for the nationals but hopefully we’ll be okay,” Kennaugh told Cycling Weekly.
“We’re really up for doing something at the nationals because people often forget about us racing in Italy.
“If I’m still tired after my efforts in the Giro, I’d love to help one of the other Academy lads win it. We ride as a team and I owe them big time for all the work they did for me during the Giro.”
HARRIS RIDES TO FIFTH OVERALL IN HOLLAND
Nikki Harris of the Flexpoint team has been making rapid progress on the continent this year and rode to a superb fifth overall at the Raboster Zeeuwsche Eilanden in the Netherlands.
Team-mate Loes Gunnewijk was defending a second place overall on the general classification and it was Harris’ responsibility to help defend that.
“Our job was to keep Loes her second place overall and lead her out to get sprints in the race for time bonuses,” Harris explained to Cycling Weekly.
On the second stage, “we went hard straight from the start to split the race which we did, it was a hard race and we were constantly at the front of the race. In the last 30 km I tried attacking a lot to get away but nothing stuck. It came to a sprint and Loes came away with a fourth and fell one place to third but not so many seconds off first so there was still a chance for the win.”
The final stage, “started off again very fast and we again wanted to control the race. There was some very windy sections where we knew it would split so in these times we got on the front and split the race.
“We lead Loes out for sprints for time bonuses again but unfortunately she ended up slipping to fourth overall with Columbia taking one-two-three. I went with an attack with 15km to go.
“There were five of us; we stayed away and I came away with second place [on the stage] and was fifth overall on GC,” said Harris.
Final general classification:
1. Ina Teutenberg (Columbia)
2. Chantal Beltman (Columbia) at 3 sec
3. Linda Villumsen Serup (Columbia) at 11 sec
4. Loes Gunnewijk (Flexpoint) at 13 sec
5. Nikki Harris (Flexpoint) at 16 sec
KING OF THE CIRCUIT RACE
Dani King of the Vision 1 Racing Team became women’s National Circuit Race champion in Lancashire yesterday, out-sprinting Laura Trott and Leanne Thompson to take the win.
King had been racing in Italy, where she helped team-mate Nicole Cooke to the overall win at the Giro del Trentino, and flew back to the UK to race in Lancashire.
The Vision 1 rider was active throughout the race and used her powerful sprint to take the win, her second in a month after winning the Derbyshire round of the 2009 Team Series for women.
1. Dani King (Vision 1)
2. Laura Trott (Velo Club Londres)
3. Leanne Thompson (Hewitt Racing)
4. Hannah Rich (CandiTV)
5. Jessica Booth (Halesowen)
6. Kara Chesworth (Dysynni CC)
7. Clare Thomas (Edinburgh RC)
8. Marriane Britten (Maxgear RT)
9. Ruby Miller (private member)
10. Katie Curtis (Vision 1)
BUDGET BOOST FOR CYCLING
Supermarket chain, Asda, last week launched an initiative to raise the profile of cycling as a low cost activity and as a method of transport.
The campaign, entitled ‘Pedal Power’ and supported by Chris Hoy, will see a number of initiatives to encourage people to take up cycling.
Asda’s chief executive, Andy Bond, will complete the Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise £1 million for the Bike Club consortium, a group of charities led by the CTC.
With the money raised, the consortium will set up over 300 community cycling projects, which aim to introduce 30,000 young people to cycling over the next three years.
The supermarket chain is also selling brand-new bicycles from between £50-70, presumably as loss leaders.
“The way we live today means a lot of us, especially our kids, have fallen into bad habits and many families are putting their health at risk by not taking enough exercise,” said Bond.
“Getting active needn’t cost a lot and cycling is something families can easily enjoy together – whoever heard of a kid that doesn’t love getting on their bike?”
UK WINS 2012 BMX WORLD CHAMPS
Birmingham has been revealed as the host of the 2012 UCI BMX World Championships, just a couple of months before the 2012 London Olympics (May 24-27).
The city was awarded the honour on the basis of its central location, strong infrastructure and first class sporting facilities and fought off competition from Copenhagen, Auckland and Rotterdam to hold the event.
The news means that there will be a possibility that Shanaze Reade could complete a Worlds-Olympic double on home soil.
“This is a fantastic day for the BMX discipline and we are delighted with the UCI’s decision,” said British Cycling CEO, Ian Drake.
“Holding the UCI BMX World Championships on UK soil shows how committed we are to growing the BMX discipline in this country. The event will present a great opportunity for people to engage with BMX on their doorstep and will prompt a significant investment into the discipline through the development of world-class facilities. Ultimately, it’s about encouraging youngsters to get on their bike and creating a lasting legacy.
“I am confident the continued success of our athletes will help us do just that by inspiring new generations of BMX riders for many years to come.”