RICHMOND ROCKS TO SUMMER TTs
Sigma Sport’s Jerone Walters kicked off the first of three time trials in London’s Richmond Park at the weekend with a fine performance to take the win ahead of Laurence Harding and Tomasz Wrzecionowski.
The series, a pioneering format in the 2,500-acre London park, with virtually no traffic hampering the riders early on a Saturday morning, means improved rider safety and the ideal place for aspiring testers to cut their teeth.
In another break with time trialling tradition, the event has a ‘come and try’ status, opening it up to newcomers with a road bike category to accommodate them.
“The event went very well and the tightening up of the road bike category definition to exclude all aero aids has made that category very popular indeed,” event organiser, Rebecca Slack, told Cycling Weekly.
“These TTs are attracting a lot of new blood in to the sport by virtue of the course being safe, scenic and accessible and people don’t need all the fancy equipment to hold their own in the road bike category.
“The nature of the course also, with a number of tight turns, means that a TT bike is less advantageous than on a normal out-and-back dual carriageway type course. We had 25 ladies enter and eight juniors – again well above the normal levels of participation in the average time trial.”
The series returns this year after months of negotiations with the Royal Parks, expanding on last year’s two test events – both won by Michael Hutchinson – with three events this year.
Walters clocked a time of 23-27 for the lumpy course, with Ian Paine the top road-bike finisher in fifth. Elise Sherwell meanwhile won the women’s event on a road bike, beating some opposition on full time trial bikes, made even more impressive as she is still a new-comer to cycling after changing from top-level rowing.
The series continues with events on July 18 and August 8. Last year, it was hugely oversubscribed and places have been awarded on ballot this year.
Walters clocks the fastest time in Richmond Park
ENDURA WITHDRAW FROM BOUCLES DE LA MAYENNE
Endura Racing were scheduled to race the Boucles de la Mayenne, which starts tomorrow in Nothern France. However, a June racing schedule heaped with events – from nocturnes to Tour Series (in which the team is currently third overall) and Premier Calendar events – has forced them to withdraw from the UCI 2.2-rated stage race.
“It was too much of a hassle,” said team manager Julian Winn. “I wanted to take a strong six with me out there, and that wouldn’t have been possible.”
COOKE AND POOLEY IN ITALY
Nicole Cooke and Emma Pooley will both ride the Giro del Trentino in Italy, which starts in Trento on Friday.
The three-day stage race will see Cooke and Pooley putting the final touches to their preparations for the National Championships which are now just over a week away, as well as the opportunity to see how the other is going for a race in which the duo will be the main favourites.
In Italy, Pooley will have the added support of team-mate Sharon Laws.
ORBEA FIGHTING THROUGH ILLNESS
The Orbea For Goodness Shakes! team may not be riding the Tour Series this year, but the team is more than holding its own within the top ten teams in Britain.
The team is struggling through a bout of illness picked up at the Ryedale Grand Prix.
“No one’s feeling drastically bad, but it’s something that’s lingering a bit longer than we would have liked, and we really want to shift it before what’s going to be a really tough National Championships this year,” said team manager, James Whatling.
“We’re currently nicely placed in the top ten teams in the country and that’s really encouraging as we set out our stall to race in all of the Premier Calendar races this season and results are definitely harder to come by when you’re fighting it out against the professional teams.”
The team will spend this week in Belgium doing some speed work in kermis races before racing the Smithfield Nocturne and the National Championships.
The team has made a behind-the-scenes video from the Beaumont Trophy that’s well worth watching: