Field flies to top 15 on Belgian debut

Ian Field’s cyclo-cross season got off to a flying start at the Steenbergcross race last Sunday.



In dry and dusty conditions at Erpe-Mere, the Hargroves Cycles man rode strongly to finish 15th, repeating his position from last year.




”The first race of the year, you don’t really know what to expect, but that was right at the top. I totally got everything out,” he said.



While Belgian champion Sven Nys rode to victory, Field finished ahead of the likes of ‘cross stars Gerben De Knegt and Radomir Simunek Jr.



“I was on the third row and got a pretty good start. The majority of the race I was on my own, between the leaders and the chasers, so it was quite a hard day out,” Field said.



“Gerben De Knegt had a bit of a problem; I passed him, then he got going and towed up two other guys to me – then he popped himself.”



“The annoying thing is I do a ride like that and don’t score any points – you have to finish in the top ten [as it's a C2-ranked race]. It’s hard being out here, but when you get a result like that, it’s all worthwhile,” Field said.



Coe visits Manchester velodrome

London 2012 chief Seb Coe visited the Manchester Velodrome on Tuesday during his ‘Olympic legacy’ tour of the North West.

 

The double Olympic gold medalist checked on the progress of the world’s first purpose built indoor BMX arena (adjacent to the velodrome) and met current BMX world champion Shanaze Reade.



Reade will personally benefit from the new facility while she’s preparing for the London 2012 Olympics.



Coe also took part in a track cycling session and spoke to GB coaches.



Thomas joins Horizon Fitness

Claire Thomas has joined Horizon Fitness for the rest of 2010 and next season.



The 37-year-old Scot was national masters champion last year and has enjoyed a strong season racing in Belgium, scoring a host of top ten kermesse results.



The former cross-country runner was courted by several European teams, but opted to join Horizon Fitness, which also boasts national cross champion Helen Wyman and Paralympic gold medalist Sarah Storey on its roster/



“I’m really happy to have the chance to ride for Horizon Fitness and I’m confident I’ll be a strong addition to the squad. It’s my first major team and I’m really looking forward to taking on big races in Europe as part of a structured team during 2011,” Thomas said.



Thomas plans finish her season at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi next month.



Para-Cycling Academy Applications Open

Applications are being invited for the 2011 Great Britain Para-Cycling Academy Programme.



The full time Academy Programme was introduced in 2009, initially with 4 cyclists and has grown massively to incorporate all the Paralympic disciplines.  



Training will consist of a track based residential winter season based in Manchester followed by a European based road programmed in the summer.



Selected riders will benefit from the very best coaching, medical and race support along with tactical and nutritional advice. In return, riders will of course be expected to give the highest level of commitment.



Places on the programme are reserved for riders with the potential to win a medal at the World Championships or Paralympic Games within two or three years, so only those with exceptional ability will earn membership.



Application forms need to be submitted to the Performance Manager for Para-Cycling, Gareth Sheppard.



Forms can be found here.