MOTORPOINT LOOKING TO START SEASON IN EARNEST
The Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta team has made a successful start to the year with Ian Bibby claiming the National Cyclo-cross Championships and youngster Josh Edmondson taking the Eddie Soens in fine style.
With many of the team’s riders heading to Copenhagen for the Track World Championships next week, the squad is hoping to impress when the racing starts in earnest says team manager, Keith Lambert.
“This weekend we have five riders in Keswick for a CDNW race, with Lee Davis riding down south,” said Lambert.
“After that it’s the first Premier with the Tour of the Reservoir but we’ll still be missing our track riders for that one. After the Track Worlds it’s the Tour Doon Hame. It will be a bit of a shock to the system for the track riders to go straight into a three-day stage race but it will get the legs going.
“From there the racing starts in earnest. We’ll be off to the Cinturon Majorca then some of our riders will be fielded in a GB team for the Tour of Britanny. We’re also looking at doing the Tour of Ulster,” Lambert added.
With each British team making a slightly different start to the season, “it will be interesting to see who’s going well,” Lambert said. He also pinpointed Pete Williams as a man in form. “Pete won a CDNW race and a time trial at the weekend so he’s going very well at the moment”.
BRITISH TEAM BATTLING THE HEAT IN LIBYA
The five-stage Tour of Libya is an unusual outing for a British team, but Pendragon-Le Col-Colnago enjoyed the desert heat with two stage wins for Chris Opie and top-five overall for Yanto Barker.
Make that one and a half stage wins for Opie. The unusual situation of a dead heat with Algeria’s Hannachi Abdelbaset meant the spoils were shared in Wednesdays’ final stage ending in Tripoli.
“He wasn’t sure,” said team principle Nick Bourne of the Cornishman’s lunge for the line. “We looked at the video and you couldn’t split them.
Bourne took the six-man team to Libya as warm weather preparation for the Premier Calendar, starting with the Tour of the Reservoir on March 28.
The 650km of racing proved to be just the ticket. “Flat with big crosswinds and headwinds, then the third day there was a 600m climb to the finish, when the Eritreans finished six riders in the top ten,” said Bourne.
“But it was between us and the Algerians in the sprints.”
Pendragon complete their Libyan trip with the Grand Prix Al-Fatah on Friday. Bourne doubts whether the team will be back next year, despite winning a giant TV!
“We might sell it to the Ethiopian team,” he joked. “But it has been a good experience. I am glad we did it. And we have some UCI points that should help us get into races later in the year.”
Stage winner Opie on camera
URGENT REQUEST FROM EAST MIDLANDS CICLE CLASSIC
Two experienced drivers are urgently required for this year’s East Midlands CiCLE Classic.
“My current requirements are for a lead two car driver and a broom wagon driver,” explained race organiser, Colin Clews. ”Sadly, owing to the World Cup MTB race being staged the same day, many of the races usual helpers have been otherwise enagaged therefore filling posts on the CiCLE Classic has been made virtually impossible, with many people having to take on new roles just to fill key roles.
Clews asks for interested parties to contact him by email at email@example.com or on 07979 856262.
TEAM MULE BAR KICKS OFF IN FINE FASHION
The Mule Bar Girls Team got their season underway with a fun team presentation at the AnaNichoola studios in central Croydon. Guests were welcomed with Moscow Mule cocktails and tasty Mule Bar produce before the presentation on Monday evening.
As well as being handy riders – Louise Mahe was British junior national champion in 2005 – in their own right, several of the team is closely connected to the sport in their day-to-day lives as well. Anna Glowinski is the force behind cycling fashion brand AnaNichoola, while Hannah Bowers and Rebecca Charlton are both cycling journalists.
Glowinski, who also designed the team’s stylish white kit, said: “We’re not professionals, but we all have our own personal goals and want to race hard and support each other.
“We’re all really good friends; it’s really nice to have a group of girls to go riding with. We hope we can inspire other women to make the transition from riding their bikes to giving racing a go.”
She continued: “I’ve signed myself up for almost every race weekend from now to September. I’m really looking forward to the road trips – it’s going to be awesome.”
Team Mule Bar will be prominent in all disciplines of racing this year, from road to track, MTB, downhill, BMX and even 24-hour events.
The team consists of Hannah Bowers, Rebecca Charlton, Anna Glowinski, Louise Mahe and Chloe Thomas.
An unusual take on the traditionally staid team launch shot: (l-r) Glowinski, Mahe, Charlton and Bowers. Photo: Joe Plummer
DARE TO TAKE ON DALBY
Online registration has opened for the Dalby Dare at the 2010 MTB Cross-Country World Cup weekend.
The Dare offers mountain bikers a chance to test the Dalby course on Saturday April 24. the day before the pro riders tear it up in the World Cup race.
The 30-kilometre events combines parts of the tough World Cup course, such as Medusa’s Drop and Dixon’s Hollow, with tried-and-tested sections of red and black trail.
Participants will be timed individually on both their World Cup lap and the entire Dalby Dare challenge. They will also receive a free T-shirt and goody bag.
Former national XC champion and Three Peaks winner Nick Craig has given the event his stamp of approval, saying: “It is an amazing opportunity to ride the trails and test your skills on the World Cup course. Once you have ridden it yourself, you will realise just how good the pro riders are when you watch them smash it round the next day, making it look so easy!”
Participants will also receive a free T-shirt and goody bag.
To register, go to www.yorkshiremtbworldcup.co.uk; the entry fee is £32.
KEEP TRACK WITH HORIZON FITNESS
Want to keep up to speed with all the latest news from women’s professional team, Horizon Fitness?
The team’s new website is up and running now and can be found at: http://onthedrops.wordpress.com/
Cycling Weekly’s British Team Profiles