Friday’s British news round-up

Swift wins Tour of Britain stage
Garmin denies Wiggins has signed for Sky
TV chef Martin makes apology for anti-cyclist article
Armitstead wins final stage of Tour de l’Ardèche

The pair of Russell Hampton and Daniel Patten is in the middle of a three-week course of late-summer kermesse racing in Flanders.

Yesterday’s race in De Pinte saw former GB Academy rider Hampton deliver his best result to date, finishing ninth. He also acquitted himself well in Tuesday’s GP Briek Schotte against a host of European professionals, placing in the peloton.

“They’ve been pretty stiff really,” he explained. It’s a bit of a shock to the system for 21-year-old Hampton: “I haven’t really done any since I was a second-year junior. I’m starting to get used to it, slowly but surely. It’s all good – it makes you better”.

Hampton is planning on staying in Belgium till the end of the month, before a well-earned rest.

British cyclo-cross champion, Helen Wyman, recently signed for the Kona/FSA team for the 2009/2010 ‘cross season and will spend the early part of the season based in the USA.

“I have arrived safe and well in Portland Oregon and what a place,” said Wyman.

“It’s so beautiful here and I really enjoyed my first day out on the bike and can’t wait to keep riding as I prepare for my first race in Seattle this weekend.

“I’m trying to keep things as American as possible, just so that I can get a real taste of life ‘State Side’. It’s my first time outside Europe and I want to get the most of the experience. I’ve been really lucky to have some great support here.

“This has shown me that it’s not only in Belgium where you get full race support just because you’re a racer, it’s here in the US of A too”.

Wyman will make her fist appearance for her new team this weekend. “This is the first outing for my new kit, and I can’t wait to get racing this weekend.  It’s around three hours’ drive to the race and it’s also the first time for me to hook up with my new team mates at the event”.     

Helen Wyman-Kona

Above: Wyman with her new steed at Multnomah Falls

Velocampus Leeds is set to double its fleet of hire bicycles in a bid to get more of the city’s university students cycling to and from lectures.

The scheme is set to increase its total of bikes to 350 – a year on from becoming the first scheme of its kind in the UK – to help students at The University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University get around more actively. 

The loan scheme is part of ‘UTravelActive’, a Lottery-funded project led by Sustrans with additional funding from the two universities, NHS Leeds and the city council.

The 21-speed hybrid bikes are security stamped and coded. Each bike will be loaned out for the year, complete with lights and lock, on a first-come first-served basis.

“We have been delighted with the take-up from students for this scheme,” said UTravelActive project manager Lisa Brannan.

“Cycling is the healthiest, most convenient and cheapest way for so many students to get to and from campus – and will also help to reduce traffic congestion throughout the day.” 

UTravelActive also provides safer route planning and advice, self-help bike maintenance sessions and bike buddying social rides, walks and events where novice cyclists team up with more experienced riders.

For more information on UTravelActive, contact Lisa Brannan at or on 0113 343 6573. 

Not to be left out, Blackpool has launched its own bike hire scheme.

The scheme started with just 60 bicycles but will expand to around 500 in the first part of next year.

See next week’s Cycling Weekly for the full story.

Catherine Williamson of the Fenixs Edilsavino Pissei team is riding well in the women’s Giro della Toscana.

The Briton placed 22nd in the second stage of the race, 124km from Porcari to Altopascio won by Giorgia Bronzini.

Williamson is currently 43rd overall, only 20 seconds in arrears of race-leader Monica Holler (Bigla) with four stages remaining.

Sky will be a part of the UCI ProTour from the word go next year as the UCI awarded the new British team a four-year licence from 2010 to the end of 2013.

Read the full story>>>

London is preparing for a two-wheeled takeover of the city this weekend as large parts of the centre will be closed to traffic.

The Prostate Cancer Charity ride over the course of the Tour of Britain stage kicks off the action on Saturday morning, with over 500 cyclists expected to take part.

It’s then the professionals’ turn, as Edvald Boasson Hagen looks to defend his yellow jersey in the Tour of Britain’s final stage.

Then it’s Skyride time on Sunday, with over 50,000 cyclists of all abilities expected to flood the streets of the capital.

Cycling Weekly will be there over the course of the weekend, so come and say “hello” if you spot us.