Wednesday’s British news round-up

Roger Hammond will start his first ever Grand Tour this weekend at the Vuelta a España.

The Briton will ride in the white and black colours of his Cervélo team, alongside Iñigo Cuesta, Philip Deignan, Xavier Florencio, Simon Gerrans, Ignatas Konovalovas, Jose Angel Gomez Marchante, Gabriel Rasch and Dominique Rollin.

The team will target stage wins as well as the general classification with Gomez Marchante.

“The team has done a great job in its inaugural year on all aspects of the team’s mandate: equipment testing, fan access, and of course race performance,” said team manager, Thomas Campana.

“But I am sure that we are not finished yet. The guys are still hungry, and they’re prepared to work hard to achieve top results in the next couple of months until the end of the season.”

The Vuelta starts in the Netherlands in Assen on Saturday (August 29) and concludes three weeks later in Madrid (September 20).

100% ME rider Joanna Rowsell was in winning form again last Saturday, taking first place in a circuit race at Herentals. This triumph comes barely a week after her victory in the Hoelden kermesse.

On her website, the world team pursuit champion explained: “This race was 20 laps of a 4.5km circuit, mainly on narrow twisty lanes, apart from a fast, wide finishing straight.

“It wasn’t until just over halfway, with nine laps to go, that I got away with one other girl. We worked well together and built up a good lead of over two minutes. I was feeling strong so having gone through with two laps to go, I attacked and rode away to take the win by a minute from my breakaway companion, then just over two minutes back to the bunch!”

Belgian-based Rowsell’s next race is the Sint-Katelijne-Waver kermesse on Sunday 29 August. Her next major goal is the British national track championships at the end of October.

Jeremy Hunt (Cervélo) scored yet another top-ten this season in France yesterday.

The first stage of the Tour du Poitou Charentes et de la Vienne was won from a break by Agritubel’s Anthony Ravard with Hunt heading the bunch gallop ten seconds in arrears.

Hunt’s biggest result this year came during the Tour of Denmark, in which he won the fourth stage.

Jeremy Hunt, Dan Lloyd, stage 3, Tour of Ireland 2009

>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<

Above: Jeremy Hunt (l) helps team-mate Daniel Lloyd during the recent Tour of Ireland

On Sunday September 13 the David Duffield Challenge will changes its name to the David Duffield Severn Bridge Sportive and will also offer new routes that promise to challenge.

The sportive, named after the inimitable cycling commentator, offers three routes to choose from: 168km, 105km and a 40km family ride.

“Building on the success of last year, I’m delighted the ride is now a sportive and offers so much more, including electronic chip timing,” commented Duffield.

“I’m already in training and looking forward to riding the new route, which promises stunning scenery and inspiring hills.”

The 168km route will take riders from Castle Combe motor racing circuit through the Cotswolds to Gloucester, allowing them to cross the River Severn at its narrowest point, before turning west towards the Forest of Dean and South Wales. Once in South Wales, riders will then cross the original Severn Bridge and return to Castle Combe.

The shorter 105km route takes riders out to the Severn Bridge to cross into South Wales for a loop enabling them to link back up with the longer route before heading back across the bridge to Castle Combe.

“Both routes take in the roads that I used to break the Road Records Association’s Cardiff– London Tricycle Record: in 1959 via Gloucester and then in 1971 via the Severn Bridge, so I can certainly recommend them!” said Duffield.

The 2009 David Duffield Severn Bridge Sportive will be a fully supported event with feed stations, electronic chip timing, well signed routes, mechanical support (both at the start and out on the route), broom wagon, medical help (supplied by the NEG MediBikes), and motorcycle outriders.

The David Duffield Severn Bridge Sportive costs £24.50 and will raise funds for the CTC Charitable Trust: £2 of every entry will be donated to CTC’s vital campaigning work.

Between September 7 and 11, all of Scotland’s school pupils will have the opportunity to take part in the second national ‘Hands Up Scotland Survey’ – the largest and most comprehensive survey of travel-to-school behaviour. 

The survey is a project delivered in partnership between Sustrans and School Travel Coordinators across all of Scotland’s Local Authorities. It provides up-to-date information on how Scottish school children travel to and from school and is being undertaken for the second year. 

The results of last year’s first-ever Hands Up Scotland Survey were launched in May this year. They showed that more than half of all Scottish school children travel to school by active methods such as walking cycling and scooter – more than those who travel by car, bus or taxi.

Last year’s survey also showed that the number of Scottish children cycling and walking to school was higher than expected.

The information from this year’s survey will be used to identify where interventions have been successful in encouraging pupils to walk, cycle and use public transport, and highlight those regions and schools that need more support to give children the opportunity to make greener and healthier school travel choices.

William Methven, Sustrans’ Manager for School Travel in Scotland, said: “the results from the first year of the survey were very encouraging. We were pleased to see that the work we are delivering in partnership with School Travel Coordinators having a positive impact on the way school children are travelling in Scotland. We now have a benchmark for all future work with schools, and the information collected this year will be incredibly useful in informing this.”