Pooley to ride women’s Tour of Flanders after last-minute inclusion

Emma Pooley will ride this weekend’s Tour of Flanders after only receiving confirmation of her entry on Tuesday.

Pooley was originally not down to race in Flanders and was instead planning a training trip to Majorca. She was included in the Garmin-Cervelo line-up after Lizzie Armistead failed to recover in time from the injury that kept her out of the track World Championships last weekend.



“It’s going to be really hard. I’m not racing to win; I’m there because my team needs me,” Pooley told Cycling Weekly. “Cobbles aren’t really my thing and, if I’m honest, I’m not really looking forward to it.”



Pooley will line up in the World Cup leaders jersey following her win last week at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, but is more focused on her team mate Noemi Cantele’s chances on Sunday.



“It’s a great honour to have [the leader’s jersey],” she told CW. “It was a similar situation in 2008 – I think it’ll only be for one race unfortunately. Neomi can win on Sunday and I’ll be helping her to do that.”



Nicole Cooke, a rider far better suited to the cobbles of Flanders, will also represent Britain in the race. Cooke won the event in 2007, but has not had a good start to the season after she did not finish the Trofeo Alfedo Binda.



Emma Trott and Lucy Martin complete the race’s British contingent.

McLay gets second podium in five days in good week for young Brits abroad

Dan McLay continued his fine early-season form by taking second place in last week’s U23 Meer Hoogstraten in Belgium.



The 19-year-old, who moved abroad to ride with the Davo Lotto Davitamon team this season, was beaten by Lithuanian Gediminas Begdonas in a close bunch sprint.



Four days earlier he won the Stad Waregem, the under-23 version of the Dwars door Vlaanderen. This weekend, McLay is racing in another U23 race, the three-day Triptyque Des Monts et Chateaux which started in Vieux-Conde, France, this morning.



Fellow Brit Jon Dibben is also riding strongly across the channel, taking tenth place in the Junior Ghent-Wevelgem last Sunday. That solid display followed a fifth place in the 82km Kruiseik in Wervik, West Flanders, a day earlier.



Dante Carpenter, a British junior riding with Belgian team ASFRA, also achieved a good result last weekend, finishing fifth in the Junior Ghent-Wevelgem.  



Endura’s Blain wins Tour of Normandy as Great Britain National Team and Rapha also compete abroad

Alexandre Blain ensured Endura started the week on a high after winning the Tour of Normandy on Sunday.



Frenchman Blain took over the race lead after winning the penultimate stage of the week-long event, and managed to defend the yellow jersey during Sunday’s tense finale.



Endura are hopeful of riding a full European programme in 2011, and their attacking display in here will do them no harm whatsoever.



A young Great Britain team also competed in the same race, as did Rapha Condor Sharp. Luke Rowe was the best finisher amongst the GB boys, ending fifth overall having led the race after the third and fourth stages.



Rapha Condor Sharp also competed at the Tour of Taiwan (March 19-28). Russell Downing finished three stages on the podium, but tough conditions meant that the team made little impact on the GC after the race’s first few stages.  



Dan Lloyd to auction signed Cervelo Tour de France jersey for charity

Garmin-Cervelo rider Dan Lloyd is auctioning one of his signed 2010 Tour de France jerseys for charity.



The Cervelo Test Team jersey is signed by Dan himself, and other members of that year’s Cervelo TdF team – including Roger Hammond, Heinrich Haussler, Jeremy Hunt and Davide Appolonio. It is mounted and framed, and has not been washed since the Tour – the buyer will be taking home an authentic part of the race.



All proceeds from the auction will go to the Bournemouth Society for the Visually Impaired, a charity local to Lloyd’s home. Details of the charity can be found at www.bsvi.org.uk.



The auction opens at midnight tonight (Friday 1 April) and will run for ten days. It can be found at http://tinyurl.com/3mywff4.



Brooks Cycle Track League announces new format for 2011 season  

Newcastle-under-Lyme’s Brooks Cycles Track League has announced a new format for its track league this season.



Following consultation with riders, the series will have two new separate competitions, as well as the usual B Class League and ladies’ races.



First, a Sprinters League will be contested over the 19-week event, with specific challenges including match sprints, 500m handicaps and a Keirin being contested weekly.



There will also be a new Roadman’s/Endurance League that will feature devils, points and scratch races, team pursuits and the Madison.



Round one begins at the Lyme Valley Stadium, Newcastle-under-Lyme, on April 27 at 7.15pm; see www.newcastle-track.co.uk for more information.



Look Mum No Hands hosting Tour of Flanders live screening and bargain book sale

Look Mum No Hands will be showing the Tour of Flanders live this Sunday and will be holding a cycling book-sale alongside the screening.



Cycling fans can enjoy all the action from the ever-popular Flandrian race on LMNH’s big screen and can pick up some top bargains in the book-sale.  



Look Mum No Hands will be showing all this season’s classics, along with every Grand Tour stage, live. It is located at 49 Old Street, London.