ARMITSTEAD BACK ON THE ROAD IN HOLLAND
Lizzie Armitstead returns to road racing this weekend at the Ronde van Gelderland in the Netherlands.
Armitstead, who achieved two silver medals in the recent Track World Championships in Copenhagen in both the team pursuit and the omnium, will ride the event as part of her Cervélo team’s build-up to the next women’s World Cup event, Flèche Wallonne.
“For three of four weeks after the Track Worlds, I struggle a little bit, but then the motivation for the road kicks in,” said Armitstead in a recent interview, who will now focus on the road again until later on in the year.
“Though our main focus is Flèche Wallonne, when we are at the start line we always give our best,” said directeur sportif, Egon van Kessel.
“We are very happy that last year’s Giro d’Italia and Tour de L’Aude winner Claudia Häusler, Carla Ryan and Lizzie Armitstead are all back racing,” he added.
The 140km Ronde van Gelderland takes place on Saturday.
Armitstead in action in the points race in Copenhagen
Cyclevox, a media and sponsorship consultancy and Sweetspot, organisers of the Tour Series and Tour of Britain, announced last week that they had ended their PR and consultancy relationship.
Cyclevox played an instrumental role in helping to bring about the Series in its inaugural edition last year and has provided television commentary in the shape of Anthony McCrossan and Brian Smith.
“We have come to a mutual agreement to end our relationship in the PR, marketing and media consultancy aspect of the Series. We part on good terms,” said a joint statement.
Sweetspot was keen to stress, however, that the news will have no adverse effect on either the Tour Series or the Tour of Britain.
“It won’t have any negative impact and we will carry on as we have done,” stressed Sweetspot spokesman, Craig Brophy. “The only difference will be that the liaising with towns that Cyclevox did before will now be done in-house.
“We’ve yet to decide on who will take charge of the commentary, so it is unfortunate in that respect,” Brophy added.
“That’s not to say that we won’t be using Anthony again, but we will be using Graham Jones a bit more as our expert pundit. We also still have full control over the TV coverage and the rights for both events”.
The Tour Series dates and locations will be revealed tomorrow on cyclingweekly.co.uk and in this week’s issue of Cycling Weekly. There were will be four all-new venues in this year’s event.
SWINDON TEAM TO TAKE ON EUROPE’S FINEST IN LIEGE
The Swindon-based GWR Team will make its international debut on Saturday (April 17) in the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Espoirs race in Belgium.
“Over the past two years we have looked to give the riders some opportunities, but we were very surprised to get an invitation to ride the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Espoirs,” commented team manager, Dan Smith.
“It’s a huge task but I know the riders will give their all as these kind of chances to compete at this level rarely come round.”
The five-man squad of Doug Dewey, James Hawkins, Llewellyn Kinch, Sam Redding and Dave Sinclair have all been preparing for the event since returning from a training camp in December.
Almost 200 riders spread across 32 team will start the for the 178-kilometre race in the Ardennes, where the GWR Team, the sole British representative, will come up against various national teams as well as strong club and UCI Continental teams from across Europe, some of them development teams for ProTour squads.
The race, which features many of the same climbs that the pros will face one week later, is a key gauge of stars of the future.
Last year’s winner Rasmus Guldhammer has since landed a professional contract with HTC Columbia and the likes of Karsten Kroon, Tom Boonen and Johan Van Summeren have all featured highly in recent years.
The team put the finishing touches to its preparations with a long weekend of racing in Belgium.
BC LOOKING FOR DALBY VOLUNTEERS
British Cycling is on the lookout for volunteers to help out at the upcoming Cross-Country World Cup in Dalby Forest.
Essential requirements? Enthusiasm!
British Cycling is looking for a number of roles from course marshals to anti-doping chaperones to event management support.
Every volunteer will receive a free family weekend pass to watch the action as well as a goody bag.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.