NATIONAL TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS

The national track championships began in earnest last night at the Manchester velodrome, with Anna Blyth (VC St Raphael) taking the women?s 500m time trial in a time of 35.731, ahead of Helen Scott and Alison Chisholm.

In the men?s kilo, it was Matt Crampton (SIS.com) who took the title with a time of 1.03.103, fending off Olympic-medallist Steven Burke by six tenths of a second and David Daniell.

CENT COLS CHALLENGE

If you fancy riding 100 cols in ten days, then the Cent Cols Challenge may well be the event for you.

Billed as the ultimate sportive, the organisers describe it as riding ten Etapes du Tour back-to-back. Each day the riders will tackle approximately 200km with only one rest day on offer.

Based loosely on the Randonee Permanente des Alpes, the route tackles some of the most fearsome Alpine climbs, including the Ventoux, Telegraph, Izoard, Joux Plan, Croix de Fer and the Glandon. With an average of 3,000 metres of ascension each day, this event looks set to be one of the most demanding amateur events ever devised.

Although not a race, there will be individual as well as team classifications to compete for. As if the route was not demanding enough, the riders also have to contend with minimal route guidance, meaning they must rely on their route books.

Due to take place from September 13-24 2009, more details of this epic event can be found at http://centcolschallenge.com/site/

BICYCLE FILM FESTIVAL

The schedule for this year?s London Bicycle Film Festival means it?s certainly not an event to miss out on.

After touring North America, the festival begins its European leg, with London its first destination.

Running from October 1 to October 5, the festival features some of the most inspiring and dramatic cycling films to hit the silver screen.

Highlights include the British premiere of the Road to Roubaix, a history of American six-day races, Pantani and the Tour de France, Standing Start and a Rollapaluza race.

Further details can be found at www.bicyclefilmfestival.com.

Most screenings will be held at the Barbican Cinema. Tickets are available at www.barbican.org.uk/film/. Box office: 02076388891

ATHERTON TAKES WORLD CUP WIN

Britain?s Rachel Atherton has clinched her first World Cup title in the women?s downhill mountain biking event.

The World Champion won the final round in Austria to place her comfortably ahead of Sabrina Jonnier of France. British riders Tracey Moseley and Fionn Griffiths were third and sixth respectively in the final World Cup standings.

MANCHESTER COMMUTE CHALLENGE

Four commuters in Manchester took to the roads yesterday for the Manchester ?Commute Challenge?.

Travelling through the rush hour by bicycle, bus, car and train, the four commuters travelled from Heaton Chapel to the city centre in order to work out which was the most economical, quickest, healthiest and easiest mode of transport.

Pitted over a distance of five miles (as half of all car journeys are estimated to be under five miles) and organised by the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign, the challenge was designed to promote healthier and more environmentally sustainable modes of transport.

?Bikes are too often dismissed as an outmoded and impractical means of travel,? said campaign secretary, Olly Glover.

So, who won? The humble bicycle of course! With a time of just 20 minutes, the bike was the clear winner, beating the train (35 minutes), the car (43 minutes) and last, and in this case least, the bus with a snail-like 52 minutes.

Estimated at 38.5p, the bike was by far the cheapest way to travel as well. The bus traveller would pay 90p for a ticket; the train ticket would cost £1.10 and the car journey would cost £2.30 plus £5 for two hours of parking.

?On all accounts the bicycle came first,? said Glover.

ISLE OF WIGHT CYCLING FESTIVAL

Stuck for something to do this weekend? Why not give the Isle of Wight Cycling Festival a go.

With picturesque scenery and fantastic cycle routes on offer, the island is an ideal place for exploring by bike. With rides to suite all abilities, it?s certainly worth a try.

More details can be found at www.sunseaandcycling.com

BIKE BLENHEIM PALACE TO LAUNCH CULTURAL OLYMPIAD

On Sunday September 28, Blenheim Palace will open its gates to cyclists for the first time.

The event has been selected as part of the Open Weekend in to celebrate the start of the Cultural Olympiad, a four-year festival before the coming of the Olympics in London in 2012.

The unique event allows cyclists the opportunity to ride around the gardens at leisure as well as compete in a time trial, the Brompton World Championships, Bike Polo as well as various Go-Ride events for younger visitors.

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