NEW WOMEN’S CYCLING TEAM SIGNS SARAH STOREY
Stefan Wyman, formerly the manager of the now defunct Vision 1 outfit, has created an all-new team for 2010 and has recruited the services of title sponsors, Horizon Fitness and Kona.
The team will focus on the development of its young riders and providing them with a race programme tailored to their individual needs.
“Women’s cycling is moving forward quickly each year both in terms of the teams and the events,” commented Wyman.
“However, this coming season will see a lot of long established European pro teams ending and new teams looking to start their build up towards London 2012 and beyond.
“I want to help develop young British riders, but that isn’t my only focus for the team long term. This team will have a major focus on integrating sponsors and supporters with the team to allow them to have the maximum return and enjoyment from the team,” Wyman added.
The team will also run a club element to the squad, which will allow members of the public to ride with the team amongst other things.
This week the new outfit revealed its first signing in the shape of multi-world and Olympic paracyling champion, Sarah Storey to compete on the road.
“Road racing is an area I’m keen to improve on as an individual and know that in joining this team I’ll be able to continue to develop both skills and physical strength to complement my paracycling races,” Storey explained.
“I’m excited to be working alongside some of GB’s finest young talent and am hoping the 2010 season will see us all mould into a strong team and win races along the way. My personal goals lie with the 2010 World Paracycling Championships in Colombia in August and I’d also love to make the team for England at the Commonwealth Games,” she added.
More riders will be revealed over the coming weeks.
Sarah Storey (right) trains in Belgium with Gabby Day
SPRAGG JOINS ERIC VANDERAERDEN’S TEAM
James Spragg may have been off many domestic cycling fans’ radar in the past year. Perhaps rightly so; the Exeter-born youngster has been about as far from the UK as it is possible to be, plying his trade with the well-known Trek-Marco Polo team.
He hasn’t done half bad either. The highlight of his fruitful spell with the predominantly Asian-based outfit was a stage win in the 2.2-rated Tour of Thailand in April. All in all, the 22-year-old has been a veritable globetrotter, racing in countries such as China, South Africa, South Korea and Malaysia.
Now Spragg, who previously plied his trade in France for a couple of seasons, is heading back to Europe. Next year, he will be racing in the colours of Qin Cycling Team in Belgium.
The driving force behind the squad is Eric Vanderaerden, who will be one of the principal directeurs sportif.
Meanwhile, a notable teammate of Spragg’s on board the UCI Continental team is New Zealander Jeremy Yates, the junior world road race champion in 2000.
HELEN WYMAN WINS AGAIN IN SWITZERLAND
Helen Wyman took her fourth win of the cyclo-cross season with a convincing win in the GP Wetzikon in Switzerland.
Battling through the snow and temperatures of -2 degrees Centigrade, Wyman held off Lucie Chainel-Lefevre and Katrin Leumann to take victory.
“It’s really good to get some race practice in these cold conditions, as it’s likely to be very cold at the World Championships this season,” Wyman commented.
“Every lap raced in these conditions is valuable data really. I was pushing the bike pretty hard as I want to know it limits and my limits in these conditions. When you ride on the edge, there is always the chance you could crash; that’s cyclo-cross.”
Whilst it was Wyman’s fourth win of the year, it was also the second of the week.
“Two wins in a week is more than I expected when I left home last week, and Lucie [Chainel-Lefevre] really pushed me today. It was the hardest win of the season by a long way.
“I’ve just done five days’ training in Italy, and this was the last day of that block before I go back to Belgium to recover for the Christmas ‘cross campaign. Fingers crossed for some good results,” she added.
CORLEY CYCLES BOLSTERED FOR DOMESTIC CAMPAIGN
Corley Cycles has announced its 2010 line-up, fronted by Simon Gaywood, Steven Higgins and Chris McNamara.
The Milton Keynes-based team has taken on four new riders for next season, one of whom is Steven Higgins, formerly third overall in the Girvan 3-day and fourth overall in the Elite Circuit Race Series.
Jamie Newall, who bears the title of South East cyclo-cross champion, will also be joining the team. A regular challenger in ‘cross events, he also took the overall win in the Dunsfold Park Circuit series for the second year in succession.
Ashley Cox, the third new signing, is a bit of an unknown. He underwent an astonishing this year from a fourth category rider to a first, taking a top-20 result in a Premier Calendar race along the way.
Completing the line-up is young Michael Smith, winner of the Bec Hill Climb.
As with last year, the team is aiming to compete in the Premier Calendar and the Tour Series criteriums. The squad will use Cervélo frames with Shimano components.
VARNISH THE SOLE BRITON IN COLOMBIA
Jess Varnish was the only rider to represent Great Britain at the Cali round of the track World Cup in Colombia over the weekend, but the young sprinter acquitted herself well.
On the first day’s action, Varnish reached the quarter finals of the sprint only to be knocked out by the formidable Simona Krupeckaite, who also put her out of contention at the Manchester World Cup.
Varnish went on to claim seventh with Krupeckaite taking the gold medal.
The youngster then faired better on day two, claiming fifth in the 500m TT with a time of 35.215s. The gold went once again to an in-form Krupeckaite.
Varnish then went on to take eighth in the Keirin won by Germany’s Christin Muche.
World Cup action resumes in Beijing for the final round of the series from January 22-24.
FUNDING GIVEN TO PILOT SUPERHIGHWAYS
£1.49 million of funding has been given for two pilot Cycle Superhighways in London as part of a £155 million project from Transport for London to improve transport links in the Capital.
The funding will be used to provide cycle training, parking and maintenance across the eight affected boroughs.
“Even in these tough economic times I am committed to providing this funding to all of London’s boroughs,” commented Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
“The investment means that across the Capital town centres and public spaces are being overhauled, cycling and walking facilities are being improved, and roads are being made safer.
“We have cut red tape to make it easier for borough councils to choose the local transport projects that benefit their residents the most, simplifying the funding system and working together to give local people the improvements they want.
“This time we’re also giving an extra focus to cycling – helping to…support the introduction of the first two Cycle Superhighways next year.”