CAVENDISH IN QATAR

Mark Cavendish will hope to get his 2009 season off to a winning start at the Tour of Qatar.

The Columbia sprinter could go head-to-head with Tom Boonen at the race held in the Middle Eastern state from February 1-6.

The Belgian has dominated the race in recent years. He won four stages and the overall title this year, to add to four stages in 2007, four in 2006, two in 2005 and one in 2004.

While Columbia’s other sprinters André Greipel and Mark Renshaw head to the Tour Down Under in January, Cavendish will lead the team in Qatar hoping to get off the mark early. In 2007 he won 11 races, in 2008 he won 17 races, and the Tour of Qatar should offer a sprint finish every day.

Mark Cavendish?s 2009 race schedule.


ARMITSTEAD ON THE MOVE

Lizzie Armitstead , who won two gold medals on the track at the Melbourne World Cup at the weekend, will race on the road for Belgian pro team Lotto-Belisol in 2009.

The 19-year-old from Yorkshire added the scratch race and team pursuit titles to the three World Cup events she won in Manchester and is now leading the World Cup standings in the scratch.

In addition to her accomplishments on the track, Armitstead is also a successful road rider and was a member of the Halfords Bikehut team this year. She also played a key role in Nicole Cooke’s gold medal-winning performance at the road World Championships in Italy.


JEBB TAKES BINGLEY ?CROSS RACE

Rob Jebb (Wheelbase) won the penultimate round of the 2008-2009 Yorkshire Points cyclo-cross series yesterday.

Damp and muddy conditions greeted the riders, as Noel Clough attacked from the start. Jebb kept his nerve to recapture Clough and was not seen again until the finish.

Despite Jebb?s victory, defending champion James Sharp is tied on 246 points with Chris Young at the top of the standings, with just one round remaining.


RHODES TAKES STATIC BIKE WORLD RECORD

Neil Rhodes used the innovative new Wattbike to set a World Record for static cycling at the weekend.

Riding on a static bike in a supermarket in Nottingham, Rhodes recorded an incredible distance of 392.9 miles in 24 hours of cycling.

Rhodes was joined by nine other Wattbikes riders and managed to raise £10,000 for Children in Need.


COTTON IN BELGIUM

Britain?s Mark Cotton was in action yesterday at the fourth round of the Superprestige cyclo-cross series in Hamme-Zogge, Belgium.

Under heavy snow which covered the course, Cotton finished a respectable 30th, four laps down on race-winner, Sven Nys.

In the U23 race, Britian?s Mark Thwaites finished 32nd in a strong field, behind race-winner and series leader, Philipp Walsleben.

In the junior race, three Britons took to the start. David Nichols, Luke Newby and Perry Bowater finished 28th, 35th and 39th respectively.


FIELD IN ANTWERP

Britain?s Ian Field is steadily finding his feet in continental cyclo-cross races and was in action again at the GP Van Hasselt on Saturday.

Field, who is currently lying third in the British National Trophy series, finished 25th in the race, 6:54 down on race-winner, Bart Wellens.

After three races in the Trofee Veldrijden series, Field is in 34th spot overall.

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