BRITS IN THE ALGARVE

Three British riders made the journey to Portugal for the Tour of the Algarve, a five-day stage race that finished yesterday.

David Millar (Garmin) finished an impressive 10th overall, a performance that augurs well for one of his major targets for the year, Paris-Nice.

Cervélo?s Roger Hammond and Jeremy Hunt finished 49th and 93rd overall respectively, behind race-winner, Alberto Contador.


RAPHA CONDOR IN SOUTH AFRICA

The Rapha Condor team today left for South Africa, where they will race the Tour of Boland and the Giro del Capo, both five-day stage races.

Rapha line-up for the Giro del Capo: Dan Craven, Chris Newton, Kristian House, Tom Southam, Darren Lapthorne, Simon Richardson, Liam Holohan, Rhys Lloyd, Matthew Cronshaw.

Barloworld will also line up for the Giro del Capo with two Britons, Chris Froome and Steve Cummings, who finished seventh at the Trofeo Laigueglia on Saturday.


EARLY SEASON RACING FOR VISION 1

It?s now just four weeks until the first race of the season for Nicole Cooke’s Vision 1 Racing team and final preparations are under way. The team met in Belgium on February 17 for a team-building camp and to ride the route of the Tour of Flanders.

?We have a young team and these riders will really benefit from the opportunity to ride over World Cup courses in advance. These first few months aren?t all about the bike for us, it?s about forming a team as quickly as possible. We?re looking to get the balance right and this camp in Northern Europe before our second camp in Italy will do that for us,” said team manager, Stefan Wyman.

The early season calendar for Vision 1 Racing will be as follows:

7 March Gran Premio Brissago

20 March Costa Etrusca

21 March Costa Etrusca ? Gran Premio Comuni di Riparbella

22 March Trofeo Costa Etrusca

29 March Trofeo Alfredo Binda

5 April Tour of Flanders

22 April La Fleche Wallonne

The team will also have a two-week training in Tuscany from March 13, with races at the weekend in preparation for the first World Cup of the season, the Trofeo Alfredo Binda on March 29. Channel 4?s Transworld Sport are flying out to Tuscany to film the team preparing for the season ahead.

The main stage race goal for the first half of the season will be Tour de L?aude, where Vision 1 Racing riders Nicole Cooke and Vicki Whitelaw both won stages last year.

?We?ve got a small squad of riders, and until now we?ve had a very varied winter regime. Three of the team have just finished the cyclo-cross season, and Christel has travelled straight to the Tour of Qatar to compete for the French National Team. Now it?s a case of pulling everything together to ensure that the right performances are possible for the team,” added Wyman.

The team is also encouraged by the strong interest from potential new sponsors, “times are hard for sure for many companies and sponsors out there, but we?re getting a lot of interest at the moment and have converted much of this into sponsorship for the team,” explained Wyman.


ROLLAPALUZA LAUNCHES IN THE PHILIPPINES

Since 2000 Rollapaluza has been promoting its unique blend of cycle sport and entertainment to a growing audience of keen participants and spectators in London, the UK and Europe.

In 2009 Rollapaluza will be coming to Asia for the first time with their launch in the Philippines.

Rollapaluza is becoming increasingly popular in the UK with recent celebrity participants including Sir Chris Hoy, James Cracknell and Lawrence Dallaglio.

David Charlton, a keen supporter of cycling in the Philippines, will promote Rollapaluza events in the region. David already organises regular community cycling events as well as sponsoring the all-female cycling team Team David?s Salon.

“I?ve been following Rollapaluza on the internet and have been really impressed by the atmosphere generated by their events, and we?re looking forward to promoting similar events here in the Philippines” says David.

Rollapaluza has spent seven years researching and developing its equipment and as part of the franchise package will be providing a custom-built rig for David and his team as well as training, support and licensing.

Rollapaluza crowdAbove: crowd scene at a Rollapaluza event

“We?ll be travelling to Manila to train David?s staff and oversee the launch event” explained Paul Churchill of Rollapaluza. “We?re really looking forward to this, it?s great to be contacted by someone who shares our vision of our safe, fair and fun form of cycling.

“The rig we?re sending will be identical to our rigs, which means race times will be comparable, so hopefully we?ll foster a friendly rivalry between the two nations” explained Rollapaluza?s Caspar Hughes.

Expect to see the first Rollapaluza event in the Philippines around May 2009.

Rollapaluza Philippines will have it?s own website: www.rollapaluza.com.ph


HIGHCLERE GOES DIGITAL

Highclere Castle will be the first UK sportive to enable cyclists to have the opportunity to use the new GPS ChampionChip Tracker system. This advanced and proven technology allows each rider to be tracked live and shows in detail their progress on their chosen route.

Tom Last of TDL Event Services explains, ?in addition to our timing and results service we are making the new ChampionChip Tracking Service available to all participants. The ChampionChip Tracking System uses the latest satellite tracking technology and integrates this with Google maps and satellite images. The result is a fantastic way for anyone with Internet access to follow the progress of their friends, and then for the riders to re-live their experience after the ride in the comfort of their home?.

The 85g Tracker X5 fits neatly into a small neoprene pouch which is carried around the rider?s arm. The Tracker X5 can automatically record rider data every 4 seconds which is then displayed on our ChampionChip Spectator website. It can also connect to the cyclist?s Garmin or Suunto heart rate or cadence sensor and display this information along with speed, distance travelled and estimated finish time.

Highclere Castle organiser, Ken Robson added, ?For the first time cyclists can re-live moments and talk about them, making the whole experience that much better. It?s not just the riders and their friends who will benefit, but organisers like myself. We will be deploying the trackers to our rapid response unit, motorcycle safety outriders and mechanical support teams?.

Highclere Castle MagnifiCat continues to accept online entries for its four rides and is now accepting online entries to reserve a ChampionChip Tracker. The first 50 reservations can look forward to a 20 per cent introductory saving.

For more details and to reserve your Tracker, please visit: http://www.cyclegb.co.uk/index.php?main=tracker)

To enter Highclere Castle MagnifiCat sportive, please visit: http://www.cyclegb.co.uk/index.php?main=sportives)

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

RELATED LINKS

Cycling Weekly British team profiles