Hope Factory Racing’s Paul Oldham has declared himself pleased with the start he’s made to this season’s cross campaign.
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Oldham took back-to-back victories last weekend, winning the Doncaster Supercross on Saturday before soloing to a fine victory in the third round of the unrelated Rapha Super Cross Series at London’s Alexandra Palace.
And as the weeks edge slowly towards the National Championships, the Lancashire man is understandably satisfied with his results so far.
“The season is going to plan – it’s just a shame that winning things means that I have to wear different jerseys and can’t show off my national colours,” he joked to Cycling Weekly.
“To be honest, we knew we had a good chance of winning the Rapha series. My job was to win the races, but then we had the likes of Dave (Collins) and Dan (Booth) watching everyone else to make sure we would take the overall title.
‘It’s been a good event to be involved with too – it’s exactly what cross needed. The publicity has been good for the team, and the large crowds…that’s like a new thing for us!”
Oldham at London’s Alexandra Palace – not on raceday, mind!
Oldham is now looking ahead to the National Trophy Series, the second round of which takes place at Leicester’s Leys Leisure Centre on Sunday, before he attempts to defend his jersey in January’s National Championships.
“The course (at Chantry Park, Ipswich) suits me, which helps. It took ages to finally win the championships so I’m hoping the second comes round much quicker than the first!”
Sarah Byrne and Jessie Walker will ride for Horizon Fitness in 2012, the team announced today.
Byrne joins from VC St Raphael, while youngster Walker switches from RST Racing Team-Trigon.
Horizon manager Stef Wyman praised the new signings, saying: “We’ve been watching them for some time, and both riders had remarkable seasons.
“Sarah showed how strong she is during the Johnson Health Tech GP series this year.”
Wyman added: “Jessie has massive potential. She progressed at every race this season and won at Lichfield, showing that even as a first year junior she has the talent it takes to reach the top.
“Our squad for 2012 is going to be very young, and it’s riders like Jessie that are going to be the driving force of our team going forward that’s a really exciting prospect for us as we keep building year on year.”
The team’s full line-up will be announced shortly.
Entries open at midnight – the turn of Monday/Tuesday morning (November 1) – for the Hell of the Ashdown sportive (February 26).
The weather has been unkind on hardy sportivistes, with snow storms and icy roads a staple of the last few years.
The route itself is far from sympathetic to riders who have been overdoing it on mince pies and the good life over the winter.
There are eight climbs, included Ashdown Forest’s dreaded Wall, Ide Hill and a grueling last haul up Star Hill to the event finish and HQ.
There’s a 50-kilometre and 106-kilometre option on the quiet, lumpy lanes, making it a good winter test.
To enter and for more information, click here.
Don’t delay: the popular sportive’s 1,200 places filled up within 36 hours last year.
As patron of the late season sportive, Yorkshireman Ben Swift will be riding the Colomba Chemo Classic on Saturday November 12.
Swift will be accompanied on the 65 mile route, run in aid of Cancer Research UK, by Sky teammate Alex Dowsett.
The pair will then both be present at a charity auction and dinner after the event in Richmond, North Yorkshire, where they will also answer questions from riders.
Swift (back) and Dowsett (foreground) racing at Manchester in their Academy days
The two pros have ridden the event every year since its inauguration in 2009, and the route will once again tackle the Yorkshire Dales, heading south through Leyburn to Kettlewell before returning via Aysgarth and Reeth and the option of either an easy or a more difficult run in to Richmond.
Around 100 cyclists were on hand to open a new three-mile cycle route between Bradford on Avon and Lower South Wraxall on Saturday (October 22).
Previously, riders had to use the busy B3109 and Leigh Park Cross roads to get from place to place.
The new South Wraxall route will also form part of the Two Tunnels Cycle paths, which will open next spring.
Riders taking part were met at The Longs Arms pub at the finish by local MP Duncan Hames, who walked the new route earlier that day.
Deputy Mayor of Bradford upon Avon John Potter said: “It’s been fantastic how the residents of South Wraxall in particular and from the surrounding villages have pulled together to make this happen.”
He added: “It just shows what can be done – absolutely brilliant”.
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British News round-up: 2011 index page