Monday’s British news round-up

After a fine run of form which saw him score two top ten placings in the Tour du Poitou Charentes et de la Vienne, Jeremy Hunt is now in the USA for the Tour of Missouri, which starts today (September 7) in St. Louis.

However, with Mark Cavendish and Hunt’s team-mate, Thor Hushovd, both set to ride, Hunt’s role will be to support the Norwegian sprinter says his directeur sportif, Jean-Paul van Poppel.

“It will be a sprinter’s festival, I guess, and that means a fight between Thor Hushovd and Mark Cavendish,” said van Poppel.

“We are building a strong team around Thor for this race and we hope to find a moment to beat Mark Cavendish. Thor has already won in the US this season winning the third stage at the Tour of California. Next to Thor, we have Heinrich Haussler for the breakaways.”

Three-time Three Peaks winner Fred Salmon is set for a return to the toughest cyclo-cross race in the World on September 27.

The former Peugeot pro, who has been promising to make a comeback for some time, will line up with over 550 riders in Helwith Bridge in the unique race taking in the three famous North Yorkshire climbs of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent.

Organiser John Rawnsley reports almost half of the field being in the 40-49 age category and expects veterans to provide the biggest challenge to seven-time winner Rob Jebb.

New veteran and 2008 runner-up Nick Craig, two-time winner Andy Peace and Crosstrax rider Steve Bottomley are the men Rawnsley tips to give the reigning champion a run for his money, but “Jebb is unbeatable” according to the organiser.

Last year’s bottleneck at the top of Simon Fell, where the queue for a narrow stile caused considerable hold-ups, should be eased by a new 11-foot wide construction, built by Rawnsley and four willing helpers having hauled the timber to the top of Ingleborough.

Britain’s Emma Pooley, fresh from her win in the national time trial championships at the weekend, is in France for the Tour de l’Ardèche as part of her Cervélo team’s final preparations for the World Championships in Mendrisio.

Pooley will rank as one of the favourites for the French race after finishing second overall last year.

Pooley will be joined in France by Kristin Armstrong, Regina Bruins, Claudia Häusler, Carla Ryan and Christiane Soeder.

Tickets for the Track World Cup in Manchester starting October 30 are practically sold out with seats only available for Friday’s sessions.

The three-day event is expected to feature a host of team GB’s Olympic medallists including Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton.

Team GB’s extraordinary medal haul in Beijing caused a surge in ticket sales for last year’s World Cup event that looks to have carried over to the October meeting, with Saturday’s seats selling out in 24 hours and Sunday’s in three days.

A small number of standing tickets will be issued in the next few weeks, along with the full competition schedule for the three days of racing.

Two more upcoming events for your diary at the Manchester Velodrome are the National Track Championships on October 20-24 and the Paracycling World Championships on November 6-8. Tickets for all three meetings can be purchased from Ticketmaster.

Week in, week out, Jo Rowsell is notching up good results in Belgian races as she prepares for the National Track Championships next month.

After two recent victories, the 20-year-old had to be content with second place at Saturday’s race in Wenduine. On a blustery day on the Flemish coast, she finished just behind Dutchwoman Agniete Francke in the deciding eight-up breakaway sprint.

Helen Wyman, the current British national cyclo-cross champion, has signed for the Kona/FSA team for the coming season.

With three-time Canadian cyclo-cross champion Wendy Simms taking a break from racing, the Kona squad has recruited Helen to bolster the team in Simms’ absence.

Wyman’s cyclo-cross season will begin in North America at the FSA Star Crossed, then the Rad Racing GP and Cross Vegas.

The former Swift Racing star will team up with the likes of US national champion Ryan Trebon, riding the World Cup circuit from her base in Belgium.

Helen Wyman

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Above: Helen Wyman in action recently

A cyclist injured in an accident caused by an oil spill in the road has received £2,000 in compensation. 

Antony Di Domenico suffered injuries to his shoulder, arm, knee and hip after he slipped on an oil spillage and was thrown from his bike while cycling two years ago.

Di Domenico applied to the Highway Authority and Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) following his accident but his claim was rejected, as the incident had not been reported to the police and liability for the accident had not been proven. Di Domenico’s solicitor appealed on his behalf and subsequently won his claim.

The CTC urges cyclists to report defects in the road via the website 

The site automatically notifies the council or the Highways Agency of the defect.