Monday’s British news round-up

British cyclo-cross rider Ian Field got his continental season off to a promising start yesterday, riding to 15th place in the season-opener Steenbergcross in Erpe Mere race in Belgium.

The race, won by world champion Niels Albert, featured many of the top continental stars including Bart Wellens and Petr Dlask.

“All week I was really nervous about the prospect of my first cross race of the year,” explained Field.

“Having made a lot of sacrifices to try and step up a level on the international cross stage, a lot was riding on that first outing of the season, even though I am planning on not being at my best until October.

“The first lap was a disaster [though],” said Field, but “after a reasonable third row call up I just seemed to be loosing places constantly, not due to bad legs but because of the twisty nature of the course and not being able to hold my position.

“However I pressed on and was pleased to be over taking a lot of riders when the pedalling counted more. The last part of the race flew by with me slightly fading on the last couple of laps to finish 15th around three and a half minutes off the winner, Neils Albert.”

It was one of the Briton’s finest results at international level and Field is optimistic about improving on this result as the season progresses. 

“Hopefully I can build upon this result and move forward again at the next race, I was only six seconds off 13th which is a tiny margin over an hour’s racing”. 

Next on the agenda for Field is the first round of the National Trophy series in Exeter, “the racing is so different it’s hard to know what will happen but I will give it my all as always,” said Field.

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Ian Field

Above: Ian Field is aiming high this year

Emma Pooley finished fifth in the final women’s World Cup standings; the Briton scored 150 points over the course of the season, with Marianne Vos of the Netherlands taking the overall crown.

Whilst it is a strong result for the Cervélo professional, it does not reflect the remarkable season she has had so far, with two World Cup wins in Montreal and Plouay added to a clutch of stage wins and, more recently, the national time trial championships.

Sigma Sport won the Surrey League’s four-up team time trial at the weekend, setting a time of 1-12.40 for the 35-mile course.

Like many of the teams Sigma finished with three men, after (CW writer) Dan Duguid lost contact when his tri-bars slipped as he hit a pothole. The trio of Wouter Sybrandy, Jerone Walters and Steve Golla (who was knocked off his car in training the day before) showed their class to post a time four minutes quicker than second placed team from VC Meudon. VC St Raphael was third.

 Twickenham CC A team won the women’s event, while the London Dynamo’s vets team won their category

1. Sigma Sport
– Jerone Walters, Wouter Sybrandy, Steve Golla, Dan Duguid – 1-12.40
2. VC Meudon (A) – Steven Richards, Dan McCarthy, Jamie Newall, David Creeggan – 1-16.37
3. VC St. Raphael – Simon Brooks, Rowan Horner, Colin Parry, Phil Sykes – 1-16.57

Twickenham CC (A)
– Alex Tyrer, Tina Reid, Ann Marshall, Holly Seear – 1-37.42

London Dynamo
– Robert Jeffroy, Huw Watkins, Dave Andrews, Robin Osborne – 1-23.15

National cyclo-cross champion Helen Wyman recently signed for the American team, Kona/FSA, and is optimistic ahead of the new ‘cross season.

“They’re a great group of people who really take a personal interest in the riders on the team,” said Wyman of her new squad. “I’ve never left Europe before, let alone race outside Europe so it’s going to be a pretty major experience”.

The Briton will head to America to start the ‘cross season: “There are no major cyclo-cross races for women in Europe before the first World Cup [Treviso on October 4], so it’s a great way for me to ride some women’s races, and hopefully gain some UCI points.

“It’s really important for the team also. We’ll all be together in Vegas and it’s a nice chance to meet the team management, other riders and sponsors.

“For the moment it will just be one trip to the USA, but who knows what will happen after that. I’m 100% committed to getting the best possible results I can at the ‘cross Worlds.

“Since May this year – after recovering from the knee injury sustained at the 2009 Worlds – it’s all I have worked towards. Having not been in a pro team on the road for much of the year has made things very different to previous seasons, but I think it will help me a lot and by the European Champs I hope to flying”.

World team pursuit champion Wendy Houvenaghel won the Chrono Champenois Féminin yesterday (Sunday) in France.

Houvenaghel clocked a time of 46-01.48 for the 33.4km course, beating nearest rival Julia Shaw by 1-06.

The Lotto Belisol duo of Grace Verbeke and Lizzie Armitstead were third and eighth respectively.

Early estimates indicate that between 80,000-100,000 people lined the route of Yorkshire and Humber for the first stage of this year’s Tour of Britain, a 172km route from Scunthorpe, via East Yorkshire to York.
The City of York, Visit York and Welcome to Yorkshire with funding from Yorkshire Forward, worked in tandem to create a carnival atmosphere in the historic city to celebrate the end of the first stage. They also worked in partnership with Hull City Council and North East Lincolnshire Council to incorporate cultural programmes around the event start to maximise the number of visitors to the region. 
“Events like this are big business and we’re delighted this business has to come to our region,” said Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire.

“Thousands of people have come to see this world class event and many hotels, restaurants and bars throughout the region have benefited. We hope, having seen what Yorkshire has to offer, they will come back again and again”.
He went on to stress the importance of such events for the region’s economy. “Yorkshire is gaining a reputation for staging world class events and we will be working hard with Yorkshire Forward to bring even more to the region”.
It has also recently been announced that a round of the 2010 mountain bike World Cup will be held in Yorkshire, beating off competition from America amongst other countries.

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