IG Sigma Sport rider Simon Richardson has announced his retirement from professional cycling. Richardson had been contemplating a change throughout the season, but waited until after the Tour of Britain to confirm his plans. He won the combativity award on the race’s final stage, his last race.
“I’ve been carefully considering my professional future over the last season, and this feels like the perfect moment to end this chapter of my career. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved over the last few years and have enjoyed it wholeheartedly, but it is time for a new focus.”
Richardson started his cycling career as a cross-country mountain biker, winning the British under-23 title in 2005. He was part of British Cycling’s World Class Performance Plan from 2003 to 2007 but left the mountain bike scene to ride professionally on the road for Plowman Craven.
A move to the Rapha team followed, a move that saw him win the Irish Ras, the biggest win of his career. In 2010 he signed for Sigma Sport Specialized.
Richardson climbs on to the podium one last time.
Blythe and Fenn strike end of season form
Adam Blythe narrowly missed out on victory in the Omloop can het houtland Lichtervelde in Belgium on Wednesday. The BMC rider was beaten in the sprint by German fasten Marcel Kittel.
Andrew Fenn (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) was seventh as both made the leading group of 23 riders. Four days before Fenn had finished fourth in the GP Impanis – Van Petegem behind André Greipel. In the same race, Ian Wilkinson of Endura was sixth and Scott Thwaites 20th.
British track champs
Great Britain’s Olympic stars may not be competing at the British national track championships next week, but there’s still plenty of talent on show at the five day event.
Paralympians Jody Cundy, Mark Colbourne and Jon Allan Butterworth are all set to ride as are some of the next generation of sprinters. Becky James, Victoria Williamson, David Daniell, Pete Mitchell and Jon Paul are all set to ride.
The competition starts on Wednesday with qualifying for the individual pursuit. The packed race schedule sees the paracycling titles contested alongside the able bodied titles.
The men’s team sprint is the final event on Sunday afternoon, where Craig MacLean is set to ride the team sprint with some of the young sprinters and potentially keep adding to his medal collection.
For more information go to the event’s website
More medals for GB riders
Great Britain’s Tom Smith claimed a bronze medal at the European Deaf Cycling Championships in Togliatti Russia last week.
The former national junior squad member finished third in the points race criterium after an aggressive start saw him take the first two sprints. The host nation took the first two places.
Smith also claimed a fifth place in the sprint event and sixth in the road race.
In November, Smith plans to head out to the Tour de Formosa in Taiwan before turning his focus to the Deaflympics in July next year.
Tom Smith (centre) in the points criterium race
Young rider meets his heroes
While the Tour of Britain has offered home cycling fans the chance to see the stars of the road up close, one lucky young rider got closer than most.
Fifteen-year-old Callum McBrearty of Nottingham Clarion CC was offered the chance to meet Wiggo, et al, and lead out stage two in Nottingham. “I was amazed, I didn’t think it could be true when I heard I was going to do this,” Callum told CW.
“It was weird seeing the riders close up. I see them a lot on TV but when you’re close up to them they look a lot different, they look so professional. Unfortunately I didn’t really get to chat to any of them. I was on the start line before them, and when Cav and Wiggo came so too did a lot of photographers. It got a bit hectic. But I did manage to get a photo with me and Brad.”
“It was such an amazing experience being on the start line with the best riders in the world. I really want to be as good as them so that one day I can race in the Tour of Britain.”
One of Callum’s coaches at NCCC, Jenny Harwood, was equally shellshocked: “I still can’t quite believe that it actually all happened. It was certainly a big deal for the club as well as for Callum. We have the guys at South Nottingham College to thank for the opportunity. They were one of the stage sponsors and they wanted to support a local cycling club youngster who would get maximum benefit from the experience.”
Callum’s moment in the spotlight caps a great few years for Nottingham Clarion, which has gone from around 30 members in 2005 to nearly 200 – including 93 under-18s – now.
Out of the saddle
The Downing brothers Russell and Dean are once again hosting the Out of The Saddle evening in Rotherham next month. The event, on Saturday, October 20 takes place at the Carlton Park Hotel and features an auction, disco and guest interviews.
The star names attending are set to be announced over the next few weeks. Money raised goes to good causes including Brothers on Bikes – two teenagers who rode John O’Groats to Lands End to raise money for Cancer Research and two other charities following the death of their Uncle.
For more information and too book tickets go to the Out of the Saddle website.
Dominic Jelfs win in Bulgaria
Dominic Jelfs won stage five of the Tour of Bulgaria last week, winning from a break away group of 13 riders. Jelfs, who is backed by the John Ibbotson Fund and based in Brittany, jumped his break away companions in the final kilometres of the stage from Stara Zagora to Burgas to win by five seconds.
Kirk pulled out of the race on stage seven while Maxat Ayazbayev of Kazakhstan won the race overall.