IN-FORM WILLIAMS IN SCOTLAND

A second visit to Scotland in as many weeks for Pete Williams ended well for the CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta man with victory in the Drummond Trophy.

A 20-second penalty at the Girvan for taking pace from the team car effectively scuppered Williams? chances in the Easter stage race. He ended the race 15 seconds adrift of winner Marcin Bialoblocki (Sports Beans-Wilier).

There were no mistakes this time from the team, as Russell Downing and Malcolm Elliott supported Williams in a five-man break that went early on in the 85-mile race at Eaglesham, south of Glasgow.

?I attacked with 10km to go with Dan Craven (Rapha-Condor),? said Williams. Craven was dropped on the run in, leaving Williams to cross the line alone, with team-mate Downing taking second place ahead of Craven.

Did the win make up for the disappointment of finishing third in the Girvan? ?It helps!? said Williams.


SWIFT A SOLO BRITISH STARTER IN AMSTEL

Katusha?s Ben Swift was the sole British rider in Amstel Gold yesterday, as Daniel Lloyd was suffering from a temperature.

Swift finished 56th, 4-30 down on his team-mate and race winner, Serguei Ivanov.


LANCASHIRE HOT-SPOT FOR MCNALLY

A smattering of Elite riders in the Maxgear.co.uk league in Lancashire was headed by former under-23 academy man Mark McNally.

The Halfords Bikehut rider outsprinted Plowman Craven-Madison?s Tom Barras at the end of the 80-mile event based in Elswick. Sigma Sport?s Kit Gilham took third.


BROKEN BONE FOR BIALOBLOCKI

Girvan winner Marcin Bialoblocki crashed in the Totnes Vire stage race in Devon, breaking his collarbone. The unfortunate Sports Beans-Wilier rider will be off the bike for five weeks.

It was a bitter-sweet weekend for the team, with Bialoblocki’s team-mate Will Bjergfelt winning the race overall.


GEARING UP FOR THE FULL 24

Anyone familiar with motor racing will no doubt associate the Le Mans circuit with the roar of the internal combustion engine, but this summer it will be altogether quieter.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is an all-new sportive for the 2009 season running over the weekend of August 22-23.

As with the motor race on the same circuit, competitors are divided into teams with the ?winners? being the team having completed the most laps after 24 hours has elapsed. Transponders allow real-time team classifications according to laps completed.

Several British teams have already entered as well as former French professionals Eddy Seigneur, Eric Leblacher and Jean François Bernard.

See www.24heuresvelo.fr/en for more details.

Registration open until July 31. Prices range from 255? for a single rider to 800? for a team of eight riders.


BRITISH CYCLING UNVEILS INTER-REGIONAL TRACK CHAMPS

British Cycling unveiled today the inaugural Inter-Regional Youth Track Championships on September 4-6 2009.

The competition, open to teams of Youth riders from each of the 10 English regions, Scotland, Ulster and Wales, will take place at the Newport velodrome as part of the UK School Games – an Olympic style multi-sport event.

The cycling events will include a full World Championship Programme for youth boys and girls and the results of every event will be combined in the form of a Team Omnium to determine the Inter-Regional Championship.

Backed by the Youth Sport Trust and National Lottery, the UK School Games are being held as part of the build up to the 2012 Olympics and offers a chance for young athletes in ten different sports to compete in a variety of different sports.

All the competitors will stay in an athletes? village and the event includes an opening ceremony as well as televised footage and coverage from the national press.

British Cycling?s Performance Director, Dave Brailsford, said: ?It?s imperative that we create a solid pathway and ensure exciting competition experiences exist for talented youngsters to progress and flourish towards their full potential. The launch of the Inter-Regional Championships provides another piece of the jigsaw that will not only help to ensure future success of the Great Britain Cycling Team but also continue to build on the development of the sport at all levels across the UK?.

Youth riders who are interested in taking part should apply to their region for details about the selection process.

For further information about the UK School Games visit http://www.ukschoolgames.com


FRUSTRATED BLYTHE COMES CLOSE IN BELGIUM

Adam Blythe turned in another fine performance at the weekend with a strong, yet frustrating, fourth place in the 174km Zellik-Galmaarden Elite U27 Top Comp race in Belgium.

The event covered a challenging route that included five ascents of the Congoberg, six ascents of the Bosberg and two ascents of the famous Muur and Kappellemuur.

33 Teams totalling 198 riders including regular internationals participated. Despite regular attacks the remnants of the race was still very much together in the closing stages and the run into the finish saw a small break of three riders make the line as Adam made contact at the front of the chasing pack.

?If someone had told me I would be 4th before the race started I would have been very happy,? said Adam, ?but seeing the win so near but so far in the last few metres left me gutted to say the least?.


BRITISH AIRWAYS? LUGGAGE POLICY

It may have come to your attention last week that British Airways has introduced an extra charge of £25 for any baggage between 90cm x 75cm x 43cm (35.5ins x 29.5 ins x 16 ins) and 240cm x 75cm x 65cm (94.5ins x 29.5ins x 25.5ins).

Worried that this would preclude the carriage of bicycles, Cycling Weekly contacted BA. ?The regulations do not affect people carrying bicycles,? said a spokesman.

?It?s still free of charge to do so as long as the bike and the bag do not exceed 23kg.?

Despite the new regulations governing baggage, BA remains the only airline company operating short haul flights to waive a charge on the carriage of bicycles.

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