O?GRADY PRAISES BELLIS

Joining the CSC-Saxo Bank team as a stagiaire for the second half of this season, British rider Jonny Bellis has been praised by one of the team?s most experienced riders, Stuart O?Grady.

?He impressed me at the Tour of Britain. He?s willing to listen, he?s quiet, but he?s also talented and motivated.

?We put him under pressure at the Tour of Britain but he handled it well. I led him out in the bunch sprints a couple of times and when it got a bit messy I thought he would have lost my wheel, but to my surprise when I looked round he was still there.

?He?s got all the characteristics to have a good career. I think he?s got a good future.?

Bellis has recently signed a full contract with the Danish team after impressing at the Tour of Britain.

NOCTURNE SERIES EXPANDS

After two successful Nocturne events in London and Salfords this year, event organisers Face Partnership have announced a further two events to be added to the calendar next year.

Over 5,000 spectators enjoyed a superb evening of entertainment in Salfords this year, witnessing the homecoming of Olympic champions Chris Hoy, Geraint Thomas, Ed Clancy and Paul Manning.

The two new venues have yet to be confirmed, but the expansion comes with news of a national criterium series organised by Tour of Britain organisers Sweetspot, bringing the two into direct competition. More details can be found at www.nocturneseries.com

Provisional 2009 dates:

6th June- Smithfield Nocturne (London)

20th June- Location TBC

1st August- Location TBC (post Tour de France Criterium)

29th August- Provisional – Salford Nocturne (Salford Quays)

BRAVEHEART FUNDRAISING RIDE

This year?s Braveheart ride (Sunday October 25) is being billed as the most challenging edition yet, although with routes of 20 or 44 miles on offer, it should attract both amateur and experienced cyclists.

As an additional incentive, the Braveheart fund has said that whoever raises the most money for their ride will be awarded with a signed Tour de France yellow jersey from Carlos Sastre.

The Braveheart fund was founded in 2003 with the aim of raising funds for young Scottish riders. More details can be found at www.braveheartfund.com

RUTLAND CROSS RACE

The picturesque setting of Rutland Water will be the latest venue to host a round of the National Trophy Cyclo-cross series on Sunday December 14. Also a first is that the course to be used has never been used for any cyclo-cross event before.

The race will be organised by the same group responsible for the popular East Midlands International CiCLE Classic road race.

?With many observers of the CiCLE Classic telling us that it was a 100 mile cyclo-cross race, we thought we should try and organise the real thing,? joked race director Colin Lewis.

?Cyclo-cross is potentially one of the most spectator friendly of all the cycling disciplines, yet it has never really taken off in Britain. Our aim is to promote a different sort of ?cross race at a high level of presentation and hopefully more attractive to the general public,? explained Lewis.

www.cicleclassic.co.uk

PLOWMAN CRAVEN IN BERMUDA

Plowman Craven riders Tom Barras and Marc Perry were overseas at the Bermuda Grand Prix last week.

Barras won two stages (in a race decided by points, not by time) and the overall classification, with Perry finishing a strong third.

Click here for a race report.

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