Friday’s British news round-up

Big showdown expected at Blackpool Nocturne
Wiggins set for Ventoux showdown at the Tour de France
-Medal success for Britain at youth Olympics
-Team Sky’s ProTour application signed, sealed and delivered
-Adam Blythe earns stagiaire position at Silence-Lotto

The Tour of Britain organisers have announced nine of the 16 teams that will compete in this year’s addition of the race.

Agritubel, who have won the race for the past two years running, will be joined by AG2R, Barloworld Columbia, Topsport Vlaanderen and the controversial CSF Navigare squad, which was dogged with doping scandals last year.

“This year’s Tour of Britain will be fielding the best and strongest set of teams ever to take part in the event,” commented Tour of Britain Technical Director, Mick Bennet.

“By having such high profile teams, of which some are currently taking part in the Tour de France, spectators will be guaranteed to see the highest calibre of cycle racing ever to take place on British soil.”

In addition to the host of continental squads set to take part in Britain’s national tour, domestic teams CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta, Rapha Condor and Halfords Bikehut have also been confirmed.

“It has always been our desire to include domestic teams on The Tour of Britain, as we see these emerging cycling teams playing an essential part in helping to develop the sport in this country,” said Bennet.

This year’s Track Masters European Championships kick off at the Manchester Velodrome on Monday.

Most of the competitors this year will be British, but there will also be teams fielded from France, Italy, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Greece and Hungary, Ireland and Germany.  

Spectator tickets are also now available. Entry to the daytime sessions is free. Evening sessions are on sale at £8 each (£4 for concessions). A week long ticket at a discounted price of £30 is also offered.

Tickets can be purchased direct from Manchester Velodrome.

Just over a year ago, Britain’s first black track champion, Maurice Burton, was knocked unconscious and left with two crushed vertebrae after he was struck by a car when riding in Lanzarote.

Not only has Maurice fully-recovered from his life-threatening injuries, he has just completed what would have seemed impossible just one year ago, a gold medal in the Etape du Tour this year.

Burton clocked a time of 6-22-49 for the 172km from Montélimar to le Mont Ventoux.

To celebrate the second anniversary of the Recoat Gallery in Glasgow and 20th exhibition, the curators are opening a celebratory exhibition.

“We’re both passionate about fixed gear bikes,” explained Amy Whiten of the gallery, “so we’ve asked artists we know who share our passion for bikes to make work inspired by cycling, bikes and the Scottish biking tradition.

“We’ve invited artists from Scotland and the rest of the UK. Art pieces on show will include portraits of old Tour De France riders, mechanical contraptions made of recycled parts, hand-built bikes, an innovative bike storage solution, photographs, films and screen prints of forgotten bikes.”

The show is called ‘Spin On It’, it will open on August 7 from 7-10pm and runs until September 6.

At the opening the first 20 people to arrive will receive a goody bag of gifts from us, the artists and our sponsors. Admission is free.

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Fixed wheel
Above: one of the exhibits on display in Glasgow

After a gruelling race spanning 85km two days, team Helly Hansen-Nuun won the 2009 Edinburgh Rat Race in the mixed team category. They were third overall behind two all male teams, 360 degrees Poland and Top Bananas.

Helly Hansen-Nuun, comprising of Iona Robertson, Richard Wild and Clive Parry, joined up to 600 competitors in Edinburgh racing over two days (Saturday July 18 and 19) for the sixth Edinburgh Rat Race, the flagship of the seven event Rat Race Urban Adventure Series.  

The Rat Race is a multi-disciplined team challenge of navigation, endurance, mental agility, running, climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and abseiling, combined with surreal sporting tests and obstacles at different checkpoints across some of the city’s most challenging terrain.

In the mixed category Team Helly Hansen – Nuun covered the 65km course of Sunday’s Nine2Five race in 05-51-41, more than 15 minutes ahead of second placed team Average Joe in a Buff, who crossed the finish line 45 minutes ahead of third placed Team Nopesport THB.

Iona Robertson of the Helly Hansen team said: “We’re all really pleased to have won the Rat Race in Edinburgh in the mixed team category since the competition was as high as ever.

“It was a tough couple of days; pretty hard work but on a great course mixed in with some pretty obscure checkpoint challenges”.
The Rat Race was divided into two sections. First came the Mean Streets Prologue on Saturday evening, a two and a half hour running challenge (up to 20km) where teams had to check in to as many checkpoints around the city centre as possible. At a selection of these checkpoints the rats were also required to carry out tasks. These included haggis eating, ‘dooking’ for apples, water polo and navigating through a 30-metre long dark tunnel.

See for more.