Words by Chris Marshall-Bell
Wiltshire will host round two of British Cycling Elite Road series this weekend with Madison-Genesis pair Alex Peters and Peter Hawkins leading the standings.
Round one, the Tour of Reservoir in the north-east, saw Peters and Hawkins ensure a team one-two, while Team Raleigh’s Evan Oliphant triumphed in stage two.
This Sunday the action will centre round Wilton where the 101-mile race is broken up into four 17-mile laps and six 5.5-mile laps before the finish line.
The Fovant Down and Windwhistle climbs represent the trickiest part of the course for the riders.
Competition will be strong with the Madison duo looking to defend their lead from Raleigh’s Oliphant and Yanto Barker.
NFTO Pro Cycling could also cause a stir, especially after they showed their prowess with Jon Mould finishing second on the opening round’s stage two.
Slater on good form in France
Over on the continent, Alistair Slater had his best stage result of the current season with a 24th-placed finish at the Mantes-en-Yveline, a UCI 1.2 event, held in Paris.
The 21-year-old, who came second in the Tour of Britain youth classification last year, rides for French outfit Guidon Chalettois.
Sprinter Dan McLay is currently riding in Poland, at the Carpathian Couriers Race U-23.
The Lotto-Belisol U23 rider’s has had a strong start to the year, he won the points classification at the March Tour de Normandie, and finished fifth on the opening day of this week’s stage six race.
New Forest cycling charter
Concerns about sportives in the New Forest National Park have meant that a new charter has been drafted to advise event organisers.
In recent months events in the area have been targeted by locals who blocked routes and laid tacks on the road surface, thus resulting in punctures.
Just last month 18 cyclists were banned from future UK Cycling Events after offences at the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive which include urinating in public.
To avoid future conflict, a Cycling Liaison Group consisting of 30 organisations, have agreed a draft charter which sets out guidance to event organisers.
Guidance is given on planning, during and after the events, as well as liaison with local communities and landowners and informing all participants of the National Park’s farming heritage.
Organisers are told to plan events 12 months ahead and warn riders that racing is prohibited, particularly during the autumn months when 40 pony round-ups take precedence over other activities.
Sky Rides return for 2014
Sky Ride, the traffic-free, mass participation cycle events that have taken over UK towns and cities since 2009, are back for a sixth year.
The rides encourage cyclists of all ages to get on their bikes and enjoy the privilege of riding round closed circuits in the centre of towns and cities.
This year there are 15 planned rides with the first commencing on Sunday, May 25, in Plymouth.
British Cycling and Sky have also teamed up to deliver Sky Ride Local guided rides, a free, weekly community ride in over one hundred locations. Breeze and Ride Social events are also on the calendar.
2014 Sky Ride locations: Plymouth (May 25); Bolton (June 1); Leeds (June 15); Southampton (June 29); Newcastle (August 2); Manchester (August 3); Sheffield (August 10); Hull (August 17); Leicester (August 24); Ipswich (31 August); Liverpool (September 7); York (September 14); Coventry (September 21); Bradford (September 28); Birmingham (TBC).
Pitch your tent next to Tour de France climbs
Tour de France spectators looking to witness the peloton tackle the Grand Depart’s toughest climbs on stage two can pitch a tent beside them.
Holme Moss has been earmarked as the weekend’s toughest hill that the Tour will pass over and The Lazy Camper is offering people the chance to camp just 200 yards from the summit and ride with Rob Hayles.
The campsite opens from Tuesday, July 1, to Monday, July 7, with pitches of up to eight adults costing from £300.
Those who book at the Pedal & Pitch campsite can also ride with three-times Olympic medallist Hayles and enjoy professional treatment with a support car and a bike check.
More information is available at http://www.pedalandpitch.co.uk.
Elsewhere, Jawbone Hill, which the riders will have to ascend in the closing kilometres of stage two on entrance to Sheffield, is sure to be a late punishing slog with Jenkins Hill still to follow.
Chris and Claire Jackson, along with local retailer JE James Cycles, will use their land at Greenhead Fields to set up a temporary campsite for three days from Friday, July 4.
The climb is in the village of Oughtibridge and campers will be treated to local bands, real ale and good food. Visit www.greenheadfields.co.uk for details on how to book.
Charity cyclist has six bikes nicked
A cyclist who rides various events in aid of charities has been left “devastated” after having six bikes stolen in just four months.
Joe Lucas, a teacher in Cardiff, had two Specialized Allezs and a Specialized Tarmac stolen from his garden shed in January.
His house insurance enabled him to purchased a Specialized Dolce and Specialized Secteur before he also bought a new Tarmac.
But last month the trio of new bikes were stolen from his VW Transporter after thieves smashed the back window.
Joe is planning on riding this year’s RideLondon100 and has already raised a quarter of his £750 target but is no position to buy another bike.
Anyone with any information can contact Joe via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.