HELL OF THE ASHDOWN A SELL-OUT

The Hell of the Ashdown sportive in January has had to close its doors after completely selling-out and within record time.



The event received – and processed – 1,000 entries within just 36 hours of it opening.



“Last year, 1,000 places went in 10 days so we anticipated that there would be a rush,” event organiser Bryan Stout told Cycling Weekly.



“So we warned everyone on our emailing list that the window of opportunity would be narrow. Also we fine-tuned our entry system so it could cope. But we never thought there would be such an onslaught. We were told that at one time we were getting more hits than Sky!”



The Hell of the Ashdown is the opening sportive event of the season and features six major climbs totalling 2,000 metres of climbing.



Stout emphasised that the event is completely sold-out and will be accepting no further entries under any circumstances.





WYMAN REFLECTS ON EURO CHAMPS PODIUM PLACING

Helen Wyman took her first major championship medal in a cyclo-cross race at the weekend at the European Championships, won by Dutchwoman Marianne Vos.



It was a fine result for the Briton and comes after she took second at the notoriously hard Koppenbergcross the weekend before.



“I came really close to a medal in the Euros a few years ago, but a double puncture stopped that attempt. I’m just so happy things have gone my way and I’m able to be on the podium in a major championship,” Wyman commented.



“Cyclo-cross is strange sometimes and I have been on the end of some fairly bad lack in the last couple of World Champs, so I’m really glad to have done this for everyone that kept believing in me.



“I have to put my head down now and work hard to close the gap to Marianne Vos and Katie Compton, and fingers crossed that can start [at the World Cup] in Nommay next week. Then I’m off on a training week in some warmer weather to get my self ready for the next part of the season,” Wyman added.





TOP-20 FOR FIELD IN BELGIUM

Britain’s Ian Field took another first in his young career: a top-20 result in the Superprestige event at Hoogstraten.



After being delayed at the start – the rider in front pulled his foot from the pedal – Field battled his way to 18th in a demanding race, won by Niels Albert.



“After a disappointing weekend [in which Field was 25th at the Koppenbergcross] I got on with what was going to be quite a hard week’s training. A couple of good endurance rides with some motor pacing thrown in for good measure,” explained Field.



Despite being slowed at the start, “I remained calm and worked my way through over the first few laps settling into a good group of riders. I felt good with the pace and mid race I went to the front and manage to split the group, from then on it was just the simple task of pushing on to the finish.



“Come the final lap it was me and Tom Van Den Bosch. I just managed to hold his wheel come the last half a lap when he attacked me, but I managed to get the better of him in one of the most tactical sprint finishes I have ever experienced in any discipline of the sport, Sir Chris Hoy would have been proud.



“I finished in 18th, another top-20 placing in Belgium for the season and my first top-20 at a Superprestige event. Another goal ticked off the huge list I had for this season,” Field added.

Ian Field

Above: a muddied Field at the end of the race



STOP SMIDSY CAMPAIGN

CTC has launched a new campaign to stop what it calls a ‘Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You’ (SMIDSY) mentality.



Stop SMIDSY will aim to address how the police, the courts and the law could all do better in encouraging people to use the roads in safer and more considerate ways.



CTC is asking riders to report instances of bad driving so it can better lobby the above institutions to improve road safety. There is also a survey which will further aid CTC in its campaigning.



See www.stop-smidsy.org.uk/ for more details.





CYCLONE CHALLENGE ENTRIES OPEN

Entries for one of the countries biggest sportive events – the Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge – opened yesterday.



The event – part of the UCI Golden Wheel series – takes place on June 12 2010 as part of the Northern Rock Cyclone weekend of riding and racing. It offers three levels of ride – 33, 63 and 104 miles – with the longer two rides featuring revised routes for 2010.



Full details, including routes and online entry details for the Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge are available at www.northernrockcyclone.co.uk