Friday’s British news round-up

Cavendish: ‘I won’t sacrifice chances of getting to Paris’
Millar happy with Tour performance despite no stage win
-Blackpool GP: comment and analysis
Burrow wins Maratona dles Dolomites
-Matt Cronshaw wins Blackpool GP


The organiser of this year’s national road championships in Abergavenny is to step down after 24 years of successful cycling promotions in the Welsh town after criticism from local residents of the weekend-long festival of cycling.

The three days of racing drew plenty of praise for Bill Owen and his team from the cycling fraternity but many people living in the town were less enamoured.

“We did have a lot of flak this year – abusive phone calls and everything – from people saying they were prisoners in their own homes and things like that,” said Owen.

Now Owen, who owns a construction business in Abergavenny, has decided to call it a day having built up the festival from scratch.   

“You would think I would be hard skinned by now but it does get to you a bit,” he said.

The Abergavenny Chronicle received calls from concerned residents before the weekend worried that they would be trapped in their houses for the duration, according to editor Liz Davies. “And afterwards we had a flurry of letters saying the same thing: upset that they couldn’t get out and that sort of thing,” she said.

Some local businesses also complained about a lack of custom due to the road closures and extensive use of barriers in the town, although Davies reported some positive letters in the postbag.

“I think part of the problem is the PR,” she said. “I don’t think people are 100% informed of what is going on. There is a lack of communication and the town folk don’t know what is going on.”

Road and cyclo-cross rider Gabby Day has signed for the Geoff Thomas Foundation team for the rest of the season.

Formerly of Vision 1, Day decided to change teams at the start of June when she was informed that there would be no support from Vision 1 for cyclo-cross.

“The GTF team stepped in and offered me a place on the team,” said Day. “This will allow me to ride some selected races in the UK during July before I return to Belgium in August to compete in some kermesse races before the cyclo-cross season.

“I’m really looking forward to racing in the green kit of the GTF team, it’s promoting a very worthwhile cause.

It’s been an up-and-down season for Day as she started the season well but was diagnosed as having very low iron levels at the end of May which meant she had to stop racing to fully recover.

“We are nearly there now,” said Day, “so I should return to racing very soon.

“We are still searching for sponsors for the cyclo-cross season, we have a main sponsor confirmed now so it’s looking good, [but] we just need a few more.”

Congratulations to national circuit race champion Dean Downing (Rapha-Condor), who is the proud father of a baby girl, Lily.

His wife Katy gave birth on Wednesday. That afternoon, he posted on Twitter: “Well what can I say, my wife is amazing and so is my new baby Girl Lily”.

It’s been a great couple of days for Downing; just the evening before, he took victory in the rain over younger brother Russell at the Brighouse criterium.

The big race of the weekend is Sunday’s RTTC National Championship 100 in Dalton, East Yorkshire.

Kevin Dawson ( is last off in a field of 130. However, he will face a big challenge from Michael Hutchinson (In-Gear Quickvit RT), who has won the 10, 25 and 50 mile national championships this year.

Reigning BBAR Nik Bowdler (Farnborough & Camberley), Rudy Project Series leader Phillip Graves (Clifton CC) and Richard Prebble (Candi TV-Marshalls Pasta RT) are also contenders.


The Richardson’s Rumble 4 Counties Challenge is a new event on the sportive calendar, set to show off the rolling hills that Cambridgeshire has to offer.

On Sunday July 26, the 100-mile route begins in picturesque St Ives, heading north to Stamford and then on to Corby, before going back to the finish.

There is also a less-challenging 10-mile family ride on offer, from St Ives to Histon and back.

Four hundred places are available; the entry fee is £25.

This includes a donation to the Geoff Thomas Foundation, organiser’s Wheels in Wheels CC’s 2009 charity. The entry fee also incorporates a back-up vehicle, four High 5-supported feed stops, event photography, post-ride food and a goody bag,

For more information, go to


British Cycling will be sending a two man squad to the UCI BMX World Championships in Adelaide, Australia, to be held on July 24-26.
Marcus Bloomfield and Liam Phillips (2008 Olympian), who have shown great form at this year’s UEC European BMX Championships, will be making the journey Down Under.
Marcus took second place at the recent round of the Championships in Somerset, whilst youngster Liam made it into his first European elite main events at the same competition.
Grant White, British Cycling’s Olympic BMX Coach, said of his team: “Both these guys are in the best shape of their career at the moment.
“Both have recently overcome injury and their performances in the Europeans show they have regained their strength.
“We are looking forward to the World Champs.”