STRONG LINE-UP FOR THE RAS

The Ras gets underway in Kilcullen next Sunday and the line-up will be bolstered with the addition of the Rapha Condor, CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta and Halfords Bikehut squads.

Double Ras winner Chris Newton will lead the Rapha Condor team which also includes Darren Lapthorne, Kristian House, Tom Southam and Simon Richardson, who won stage five of last year?s race.

?This is what I consider to be the strongest team I?ve brought to the Ras,? said Rapha manager, John Herety. ?I don’t expect many stage wins from the team as we have no out-and-out sprinter, but in those riders, I have five potential overall winners.

?In the past I have come with the intention of initially going for stages and only looking at the overall in the last couple of days. This year will be different and we will have our sights firmly set on the overall from day one. That said, while I will bring the strongest group of riders I have ever worked with, this coincides with what I believe to be the strongest ever field assembled for the Ras…so we will have our work cut out.?

Also set to ride is Russell Downing, fresh from his success in the Lincoln Grand Prix, and will be joined by Andrew Roche (winner of the Ras in 1997), Pete Williams, Dale Appleby and James Sampson.

Completing the British contingent will be Halfords Bikehut, headed by Ian Wilkinson; Kinesis; BC East Midlands, Surrey Racing League and Sigma Sport.

The 2009 Ras begins on Sunday May 17 and covers 1289km over the course of eight days.


PUT A STOP TO THE ‘MOBILE MENACE’

Allan Ramsay and Brian Tadman of RoadPeace (a charity that provides support for victims of road crashes) are calling on vulnerable road users to sign a petition to Number 10 to introduce driving ban and phone confiscation, if not car confiscation, for drivers caught using/holding mobile phones.

?The moral of the story is, if you don?t want to be hit by a ?mobile menace? and leave your family fighting for justice, give up cycling,? said Ramsay.

?For me I?m not prepared to give up cycling. I?ll do the fighting and hopefully spare my family the pain.

?It?s not only cyclists at risk from in-car techno addiction, so too are horse riders and motor-bikers, and indeed families in people carriers, like the Statham?s – all six of them.?

To sign the petition, please visit: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/mobilemenaceban/


PODIUM PLACING FOR BLYHTE

Adam Blythe is currently enjoying a fine run of form and took yet another impressive result at the weekend, with a third place at the Europacup Derny event in Ghent yesterday.

28 riders started covering two qualifying heats of 30km on a closed 2km town centre circuit, followed by a 50km final.

Blythe was third behind Belgian Elite Champion Davy Commeyne and Iljo Keisse.


NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR BMC

The BMC UK Racing Team has started the 2009 season with a flurry, taking five wins on the way to a current seventh overall in the National Team Rankings.

The team has recently signed a partnership with For Goodness Shakes! which will provide the squad with recovery drinks for the remainder of the season.

In addition to riding each of the Premier Calendar events this year, the team will also take part in the new Tour Series criteriums.


STYLE-CONSCIOUS WOMEN DRESS TO IMPRESS

SustransStylish women will pedal through Edinburgh in a parade of fashionable clothing to

encourage more women onto their bikes.

Sustrans has organised the one-off event as part of its year-long campaign to get women cycling.

Dozens of fashion-conscious cyclists are expected to join the colourful ride along the

city?s cycle routes dressed in their favourite outfits.

Gina Alcock, Sustrans Events Officer in Scotland, said: ?We?re really keen to show that whether by wearing heels, your favourite skirt or by putting flowers in your hair, cycling can be beautiful.

?Many of us girls tend to worry that by pedalling to work, to the shops or to see friends we?ll arrive in a mess, but that?s hardly ever the case. Cycling is one of the easiest ways to get fit and feel good- and there is no need to compensate on style.?

Men are also invited to join the ride, which starts at Haymarket Yards, next to Haymarket Rail Station, on May 31 at 12pm.

The ride will last about one and a half hours along National Cycle Network routes to the north of the city centre. There will be prizes for the most glamorous riders and also a ?Bling Your Bike? competition to find the most stylish bike.

Sustrans launched its campaign to get more women cycling in March including a new website www.bikebelles.org.uk with practical advice on how to get cycling. The campaign follows research showing that men are three times more likely to cycle than women.

Riders can simply turn up on the day or sign up in advance by calling Gina Alcock on 0131 523 0196 or emailinggina.alcock@sustrans.org.uk

If you have any British news you’d like to share, please contact andrew_canning@ipcmedia.com