Britain's top domestic teams will go head to head against each other at this Saturday's Eddie Soens Memorial at Aintree Racecourse.
Riders from IG-Sigma Sport, Madison-Genesis, Node4-Giordana, Raleigh and Rapha Condor JLT make up the bumper field of 247 at the popular handicap event.
The race comprises 50 miles (30 laps) of the racecourse's club circuit and was won last year by a bearded Russell Downing.
Josh Edmondson was the last junior to take the victory, doing so in 2010 as Steve Cummings and Matt Bottrill had done before him. Julie Hill's 1991 triumph remains the sole female win to date.
Raleigh will have 12 riders taking the start before they head to France to take part in Sunday GP de Lillers UCI race, a combo perfectly executed by Downing last season.
Having taken silver in the team pursuit at last week's World Track Championships, Andy Tennant is scheduled to make his debut for Madison Genesis, with Paralympians Jon-Allan Butterworth and Jody Cundy also among the competitors.
The action begins at 9.30; for more information click here [external link]
Pedal Heaven secure Tour Series ride
A strengthened Pedal Heaven team held their 2013 launch in Hampshire on Friday night, and announced they have secured a guest spot for this year's Tour Series.
Backed by the Fleet-based cycling retailer of the same name, the squad are currently ranked sixth in British Cycling's national rankings.
Not only are they seeking to improve that position, but their riders are hopeful of mixing it with Britain's top teams during the two rounds of the Tour Series in which they will compete.
Pedal Heaven's new line-up looking mean and keen
Mstina have supplied Pedal Heaven's kit for this season, and the riders will race on Specialized bikes.
Pedal Heaven 2013 line-up: Nick Allen, Lewis Atkins, Francis Cade, Anders Christiensen, Alex Camier, Dante Carpenter, Dave Creeggen, Tim Elverson, Dave Larcombe, Rob McCarthy, Chris McNamara, Jo Munden, Paul Pickup, Jamie Pine, Allan Ridler, Rory Townsend.
RIP John Dennis
CW has learned that former President and life member of Norwood Paragon CC John Dennis passed away peacefully at home on the January 24 at the age of 86 years.
Having joined the club in 1946, the pinnacle of his cycling career was being selected to ride the tandem sprint in the 1948 London Olympics. Unfortunately, injuries sustained in a crash two weeks before the Games put him and partner Ivor Cox out of contention, their places being taken by Reg Harris and Alan Bannister.
In 1950, Dennis set a new national record of 23 seconds for the 1/4 mile human paced flying start, a record which remained unbeaten before track records became metric.
Dennis' racing career ended in 1951 after breaking his collarbone for a second time and turned his attention to promoting track racing at Herne Hill, rejuvenating the Reading Track League and later promoting the national keirin championships in 2004.
Bibby aiming for Tour de Taiwan
Ian Bibby, now reunited with his bike, has set his sights on a GC win when he travels with his Madison-Genesis team to the Tour de Taiwan, which starts on March 18.
"It's a 2.1 ranked race so there will be some good teams there," Bibby explained. "It suits me quite a bit, there are some hilly finishes, and I'm going good at the moment."
The race features seven stages; stages one and seven are flat city centre criteriums and the remaining five culminate in an climb to the line.
Madison-Genesis for Tour de Taiwan: Ian Bibby, Liam Holohan, Dominic Jelfs, Andy Tennant, Brennan Townshend (DS: Roger Hammond).
London to Brighton registration open this Saturday
Make sure you get your name down for the London to Brighton bike ride, organised by the British Heart Foundation, when registration for places opens this Saturday at 10am.
The London to Brighton starts on Clapham Common
Head to the BHF website [external link] to sign up for the 54 mile event that this year takes place on Sunday June 16 and costs £35 to enter.
Despite cycle restrictions imposed by Southern Rail that ban bikes on trains at certain times on the Brighton to London route, there will be a bus service operated by BHF that will take riders and bikes back to London. Tickets will cost £24.
Meanwhile another BHF event that was due to take place this weekend, the Cody's Challenge sportive in Hampshire, will not go ahead. Organised by former British pro Dan Lloyd, the 100km ride been postponed to a later date due to lack of entries.
"We will reschedule the event for a later date and reimburse everyone who entered," explained Neil Jarrett, fundraising manager at BHF. "We will then invite those that registered to do so again."
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CW predicts 2013 Tour Series schedule
Pinarello available now from Halfords
Ian Bibby reunited with stolen bike
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