British professionals take to the hill climbs

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British professionals take to the hill climbs

The hill climb season gathers momentum this weekend with several iconic events taking place across the country - and several top domestic riders are in attendance.

Team Sky rider Russell Downing is the star draw at the classic Monsal hill-climb in the Peak District on Sunday, backed by Shefrec CC.

Past winners on the 675-yard, one in six lung-burster include Tom Simpson, record holder Malcolm Elliott, Chris Walker and Downing himself, who took the title in 2007.

Down south, Sunday sees the Catford-Bec double-header, on the short but diabolically-steep Kent climbs of Yorks Hill and White Lane.

Rapha-Condor-Sharp are fielding a strong line-up, consisting of Dean Downing, Graham Briggs, Kristian House and Jonathan Tiernan-Locke.

National hill climb champion Dan Fleeman (Team Raleigh) is also down south with teammate Liam Holohan, looking to win both events and break the Catford record he holds from 2007, but as he joked to CW at the Cycle Show yesterday, "I broke it by too much three years ago!"

For more on the historic Bec and Catford races, go here.

Brits tackle Paris-Tours

On Sunday, Team Sky pair Steve Cummings and Bradley Wiggins will race for the first time since the Tour of Britain.

Alongside in-form Adam Blythe (Omega Pharma-Lotto), they are scheduled to the race the 233km autumn classic Paris-Tours.

Blythe is expected to be at the disposal of pre-race favourite Philippe Gilbert, whose sparkling world championship form has likely not been erased by the tiring journey back from Australia.

Oldham looks ahead to cross season

Defending National Trophy champion Paul Oldham was cagey about his form in the run-up to the opening round of this year's series.

"It hasn't been the best build up. I'm not going as well as I was last year, I've been busy at work," Oldham said. "But the next couple of months, I need to get my head down and knuckle down a bit."

The Hope Factory racer envisaged domestic MTB cross-country stars Liam

Killeen and Oli Beckingsale as his main challengers, as well as former

national-champion Jody Crawforth.

"The national championships are my goal, to be honest: I've won the Trophy series twice. The nationals are the one that I want, but it's obviously going to be difficult. Still, Derby was a good circuit for me last year."

Meanwhile, national champion Helen Wyman (Kona) makes a rare foray back to Britain from her Belgian base to headline the women's field.

The first round of the National Trophy takes place on Sunday at Abergavenny.

An electrifying world record

The world record for the most amount of electricity produced by cyclists over a 24-hour period was smashed at Manchester Velodrome last weekend.  

Manchester community pedal power generated more than 72,000 watts between Friday and Saturday evening, obliterating the old 12,953 watt record.

The record also raised a serious amount of cash for The Christie cancer charity with malt loaf manufacturers Soreen announcing a donation of £10,000.  

Former Olympic 400m runner Iwan Thomas started off the attempt and set a high standard in powering the totaliser.  Member of the Greater Manchester Police force also took part along with cycling clubs from the region, each battling it out to win a year's sponsorship from Soreen.    

Four cyclists - David Clark, Carl Cleghorn, Stuart Kinsey and Darren Riley - completed the entire 24 hours and remained in good spirits throughout the early hours of the morning, only pausing for toilet and stretching breaks.

Buy a pair of Cancellara's shoes!

A unique pair of cycle racing shoes signed by Olympic and four time world time-trial champion Fabian Cancellara are going under the hammer in aid of charity.  

The white Specialized shoes, size 44, have been framed and would be a great addition to any collection of cycling memorabilia. 

The eBay auction finishes on Saturday afternoon with all proceeds going to Paim Brown Ward Southampton Hospital.

For further information see

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