TRACK WORLD CUP IS BACK IN MANCHESTER
The Track World Cup is coming back to Manchester, with a new position in the calendar as the fourth and final round of the series to boot.
The event is scheduled for 18-20 February 2011.
Jonny Clay, Cycle Sport and Membership Director at British Cycling, commented: “It is fantastic news that we have once again been awarded a round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup and another welcome addition to the exciting events British Cycling will be staging in the near future.
“Our round will come just one year before the 2012 London Olympic Games, offering fans an opportunity to watch some thrilling cycling with potential British Olympic gold medallists in action on their doorstep.”
At last November’s Manchester edition, Great Britain scored ten gold medals.
ORBEA ESCAPE THE WEATHER FOR SUNNIER CLIMES
The Orbea For Goodness Shakes team has escaped the dreary British weather for a training camp in the traditional cyclists’ haven of Majorca.
“The weather has been very kind to us and we’ve been getting in five hours plus each day,” explained team manager, James Whatling.
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Blue skies for Orbea in Majorca
The team has been, “alternating between hard hilly days and fast flat days with blocks of intensity in them.
“The guys have been riding strongly and we’re really pleased with how the form’s progressing in the build up to the season and the Paris-Evreux on March 7,” where the team will make its continental debut.
BRITWATCH: THE WEEKEND
With racing going on simultaneously in Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Spain this weekend, it promises to be a hectic spell for Team Sky and British riders alike.
At the semi-Classic double-header of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, Russell Downing and Ian Stannard are the Brits in action for Team Sky.
Cervelo Test team trio Roger Hammond, Jeremy Hunt and Daniel Lloyd are also there, with Hammond and Hunt down to face more cobbles on Sunday’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.
Garmin man David Millar also rides both races, while Mark McNally (AN Post-Sean Kelly) faces his biggest test to date at Het Nieuwsblad.
Meanwhile, at the GP dell’Insubria and GP Lugano, Chris Froome, Peter Kennaugh and Ben Swift take to the Swiss hills for Sky.
And in Italy, Footon-Servetto neo-pro Tom Faiers currently sits 96th overall at the Tour of Sardinia, which concludes on Sunday.
BRITWATCH: CAVENDISH IN ALMERIA
Sprinting star Mark Cavendish is set to ride the Clasica de Almeria on Sunday. Though failing to finish yesterday’s stage of the Ruta del Sol – the first time that he hasn’t won a stage of a race since the Tour of Romandy last May – Cavendish worked assiduously for the rest of the team throughout the race in miserable weather conditions.
Still finding his way back to form after problems with a tooth abcess, Cavendish could get off the mark in this predominantly flat race.
Steve Cummings is also riding for Team Sky, where he is likely to be working for defending champion Greg Henderson.
LAST LOOKS FORWARD TO HET NIEUWSBLAD
Of the youthful Great Britain team taking on the Belgian cassen in the women’s edition of Het Nieuwsblad this Saturday, off-road talent Annie Last arguab;y harbours the best chance of a strong performance. She will be looking to improve on her 2009 performance where, in a rare foray on the road, she was Britain’s highest finisher in eleventh place.
However, maintaining her focus on mountain-biking this season, the teenager was cautious about her chances in her first road race of the new season.
“I’m looking forward to it, though it’s a very different race – 130 kilometres and uphill cobbles compared to a 40-minute cross race! We’ll see how things go,” she said.
“I’m used to riding off-road; I guess if it’s a bit wet and slippy, that’s right up my avenue.”
Alongside the eight-strong national team racing, young Rayner Fund rider Alice Monger-Godfrey (De Sprinters Malderen) will also be competing.
DALLAGLIO CYCLE SLAM BACK ON HOME TURF
Lawrence Dallaglio and his companions are back on home soil, after cycling more than 1,700 kilometres through Europe as part of the Dallaglio Cycle Slam.
Encompassing all Six Nations international stadia on the way to Murrayfield, the aim of the ride is to raise £1 million for Sport Relief and the Dallaglio Foundation.
The group arrived in Folkestone yesterday, thirteen days after leaving snowy Rome, the start of their journey. They stopped off at Paris before continuing north to cross the English Channel.
The Cycle Slam peloton rolls off the Eurotunnel to start the UK portion of the challenge.
“It is fantastic to be back on British soil again. It has been a long few weeks cycling through Italy and France and it is good to be in familiar surroundings. However, we’ve still got a long way to go,” Dallaglio said.
After watching the England vs Ireland clash at the weekend, the ride continues for its final 1,000 kilometres, taking the hardy group to Cardiff, Dublin and Belfast before arriving at Edinburgh, journey’s end, on March 12.
TOM SIMPSON MEMORIAL RIDE
The annual Tom Simpson memorial ride starts from the Sports Pavilion, Scrooby Road, Bircotes at 10 am on Sunday February 28.
The ride, which is promoted by Simpson’s old club the Harworth and District, together with Dinnington RC, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, will cover the North Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire roads on which Britain’s only elite world road race champion and multi-Classics winner began his cycling career.
There are two rides, one of 50km and the other 100km.
It costs £5 to enter and all proceeds go to the Haiti disaster fund.
POLICE REFUSE PERMISSION FOR YET ANOTHER ROAD RACE
Although the Archer Spring RR 100km National B race is still to be run on April 18, the supporting event has had to be cancelled because of refusal of permission by Thames Valley Police for this concurrent race. Organiser Stuart Benstead said: “This is most regrettable and is a change of policy from many previous years.
“It is being disputed at several levels by both the club and Central Region as it may cut down on the number of other events this year with it pointed out that this cancelled race was the first open road race won by Bradley Wiggins when a junior, with other winners being Olympians such as Roger Hammond and Matthew Stephens when they too were juniors, while David Millar, Tour de France stage winner, was another notable winner as a youngster on the way up.”
ROLLAPALUZA NATIONAL SERIES IN MANCHESTER AND SOUTHAMPTON
The qualifying rounds for the Rollapaluza National Finals are hotting up, with the Manchester round taking place tonight at the TV21 Bar.
The Southampton event is on Sunday, at The Sporting View Pub in Southampton; both rounds begin with qualifying from 7pm onwards.
For more information, visit Rollapaluza.
Monday’s British round-up: Mark Beaumont, Cavendish, Copehagen track
Wednesday’s British news round-up: McNally, Wiggins, Dowsett and more
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