Motorpoint’s Pete Williams takes Tour of Ulster despite surgery
Pete Williams’ encouraging comeback continued over the weekend, as the Motorpoint rider dominated the Tour of Ulster.
Williams was hit head-on by a car while training in Majorca in March, and underwent final operations on his nose and teeth just days before the start of the Northern Irish race.
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He took over the race lead after narrowly winning stage two in Dungannon ahead of team-mate Ian Bibby, and added the final stage to seal the overall victory.
He naturally sounded relieved when he told Cycling Weekly: “After the past few weeks it’s not only good to get back on the bike, but to win will do wonders for my confidence.
“The team have been going well for weeks and because of that we didn’t really have a leader for the race.
“But once I had picked up the jersey everyone helped me defend it which was a massive help,” Williams added.
Williams at the Tour DoonHame over the Easter weekend
He still has a piece of glass in his lip that will be removed shortly, and his mouth was operated on the day before he traveled to Ireland.
Luckily, he felt no side effects while competing, although he admits it will take him time to be comfortable in the peloton.
“My lips were a bit numb for a few hours after the surgery, but there was no pain while riding.
“It’s more of a mental thing right now – I still feel a bit nervous in the bunch but that hopefully won’t last too long.”
James Sampson finished third overall, and Bibby’s tenth place ensured Motorpoint won the team award.
With the form the team showed in Ulster and throughout this season, Williams believes they can challenge for victory at this weekend’s Lincoln GP.
“We’re well prepared going into it, and with the form that James, Bibby and Marcin (Biablocki) have shown I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re up there on Sunday.”
“Personally, I just want to get on with the season, pick up some more results and repay the confidence the team have shown in me through this tricky period.”
Wegelius comes close at the Tour of Asturias
Charles Wegelius, riding for Pro Continental outfit United HealthCare for the 2011 season, finished third on stage five of the Tour of Asturias on Monday.
The UCI 2.1-ranked race’s fifth and final stage featured a summit finish, and the veteran Brit climber Wegelius found himself in the lead group with Javier Moreno (Caja Rural) and Constantino Zaballa (Miche-Guerciotti).
He had earlier bridged to them with teammate Christian Meier, and launched an attack within the final kilometre, but was caught just short of the line.
Zaballa outsprinted Moreno, with Wegelius four seconds back.
Nicole Cooke to ride National Road Race Championships
Nicole Cooke has put in an early application for this year’s British National Road Race Championship, signalling her intent to get back the national title that has been hers nine times before.
The reigning Olympic champion won the event as a junior at the tender age of sixteen in 1999 and has won it every year since except in 2000 and 2010.
Last year, Emma Pooley took the crown in a race that was foreshortened after a serious crash in the early stages.
Dog embarks on 700-mile cycling trip
You don’t often see a dog on a bike, but Londoner Chris Lovitt is planning a charity ride with a difference – he’s riding from Tower Bridge to Berlin with his dog, Tigger, as his companion.
The dog will ride in a custom-built basket on the front of the bike.
The duo plan to cover the seven hundred miles in seven days – no mean feat. They hope to raise £20,000 for two charities – CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) and Maternity Worldwide.
You can donate to them at www.justgiving.com/tigger-spaniel. Good luck to them!
Tigger models his special charity-ride basket