Luke Rowe goes close at Olympia’s Tour

Luke Rowe’s consistency in the opening stages of the Olympia’s Tour leaves him well-placed to finish on the podium when the race finishes in Buchten tomorrow.

Rowe, riding for a Great Britain team, finished ninth in Monday’s
opening time trial in Hoofddorp, and hasn’t finished outside the podium
places since.

He sprinted to third in Noordwijk on stage one, and
replicated that result 24 hours later in Olst, losing out to Ubbink-Koga’s Wim Stroetinga.

Dutchman Stroetinga took his second victory on home soil in yesterday’s third stage that was plagued by
crashes. Rowe came home in second and lies third overall, just four
seconds off the race lead, with just two stages remaining.

Rowe, who, CW understands, is joining Team Sky in 2012, is also leading the Mountains classification.

Endura Racing are riding in the 2.2 ranked event, along with British junior champion Dan McLay (Omega Pharma-Lotto-Davo).

Zak Dempster second in Circuit de Lorraine stage

Aussie Zak Dempster (Rapha-Condor-Sharp) was within a hair’s breadth of victory in the Circuit de Lorraine’s second stage on Thursday.

The stage finished with a sprint for the line and Dempster was pipped by Sebastien Chavanel (Europcar), beating Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil) into third.

“There was a climb at 5km to go and I was top 10 going over that,” he told Cycling Weekly. “Coming into the finish I held onto Chavanel and Feillu, who were in front of me with 700m to go. I was fifth at that point and I got around Feillu with 250 to go, and held my position next to Chavanel.

“I think I’m bearing fruit from the work that I’ve been doing for the last few years. I’m showing that I’m competitive at the highest level and that I could hold my own in a World Tour team.

“I was in a breakaway the day before yesterday as well. We were caught with 3km to go – there were 12 of us, and all the others were World Tour guys.”

Today’s stage was the 2.1-rated race’s queen stage. Jon Tiernan-Locke (Rapha-Condor-Sharp)  finished in the lead group. Dempster finished further back, but has his eye on stage wins for the rest of the race.

“We’ll probably go for another stage for Ed Clancy or I. There’s another hard climb with 10km to go tomorrow, but its not too bad so that should suit me.”

Comeback man Wilko talks Tour Series

Ian Wilkinson is back. The Endura rider broke his collarbone on the second stage of the Tour of Normandie in late March, putting his spring campaign out of whack.

“It’s a shame because I normally ride well in the March and April races and had some good races. I’ve missed out on some vital stage races for the Tour Series, so I’m playing catch-up”, he admitted.

His first “proper” race back was the Lincoln GP two Sundays ago, getting round okay.

Wilkinson is looking forward to helping Endura take their first title in the eight-round competition.

“We’re really motivated, we want to bring it home,” he said. “Durham [the opening round] is going to be brutal.”

Wilkinson is also looking forward to the circuits at Aberystwyth, Peterborough and the final in Canary Wharf.

Expect to see a few showboat “Supermans” from the lively Lancastrian, who sees the importance in revving up the crowd. “You’ve got to do something to make it interesting, you want a kid to see it and say “that’s mega!” former mountain biker Wilkinson said.



The key to victory will lie in consistency. “One bad round can really put the jeepers on you; it’ll be the same as previous years,” Wilkinson said.

For now, Wilkinson aims are to “get back into shape and start winning races, any races.”

“I had a check-up with the consultants today, they’re quite happy with it. It’s come together quite well, now there’s no hinderance.”

Wilkinson after his fourth spot, Tour de Mumbai 2011

Ian Wilkinson: “that’s mega!”




Blackfriars Bridge back-track from TfL


Pressure from cyclists has resulted in Transport for London (TfL) revising their redevelopment plans for Blackfriars Bridge.

They received approximately 560 responses from stakeholders and members of the public during a consultation period, many of which related to their initial proposals to remove the southbound cycle lane near the Blackfriars Railway Station and narrow the width of the northbound cycle lane.

TfL’s modifications see the reinstation of a 1.5m-wide southbound lane, and the northbound lane has instead been widened to 2m.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “I am very pleased that TfL has taken the feedback from cyclists who use this junction into account and used their comments to deliver the best scheme possible.

“The changes they have made support my desire to improve the facilities for cyclists right across the Capital.”

A go-slow “flash ride” was held on the bridge this morning, attracting hundreds of cyclists and affecting traffic.

CTC changes to charity status

The CTC – the UK’s national cyclists’ organization – voted in its AGM last Saturday to change its
status to that of a charitable body.

The change from being a normal commercial organisation will mean
that the CTC can benefit from £160,000 in tax relief while remaining a
member-focused organisation.

The status change takes advantage of the 2006 Charity Act, which
allows a charity’s members to be the official beneficiaries of its
charitable activities – before a charity could only be such if it
benefited non-members. It was passed at the AGM with a majority of 88.3%
of votes.

The organisation have been moving towards the change for a while – at
its 2010 AGM members voted in favour of the change ‘in principle’. In
order to make the change, however, 75% of members had to vote in favour
of a concrete proposal, something that was achieved on Tuesday.