Wednesday's British news round-up
COFFEE SQUAD GOES IT ALONE
Trouble may be brewing for Magnus Backstedt’s Cyclesport.se/MagnusMaximusCoffee.com squad (no pun intended).
According to sources, Dennis Nystrand, owner and editor of Swedish cycling website cyclesport.se, has been given notice with immediate effect from Sprocket Promotions, the team’s management company.
However, due to “actions taken by Mr. Nystrand on his own behalf, Sprocket Promotions feel that it is necessary to distance themselves…to protect their riders,” read an official statement.
Martin McCrossan, managing director of Sprocket Promotions, said: “there is nothing more important than making sure the riders in the team are well looked after. This team was set up to give riders a safe secure environment to turn pro and move up through the ranks, we stand true to that commitment”.
From the foreseeable future, the team will rely on the sale of Backstedt’s trademark coffee to provide financial backing.
“We are in this for the long term and we will work hard to find another financial sponsor,” said McCrossan.
The team will continue as Team MagnusMaximusCoffee.com
PARACYCLING TEAM IN FRANCE
The Great Britain Paracycling endurance squad was in France over the weekend, for the first UCI event of the year in Bayonne.
On the first stage in the CP3/LC3 category (a 60km road race), Javier Otxoa (a Paralympic silver medallist and former Kelme rider) attacked, taking Darren Kenny with him.
Otxoa’s pace proved too much for Kenny, who slipped back into the bunch, but held on to take fourth on the stage.
In the individual time trial, Kenny put in an impressive performance whilst fellow Briton, Rik Waddon, was hampered by the heavy rain but still finished sixth.
Heavy rain returned again for the final stage, a criterium at Hasperren. Kenny and Waddon lost time in the race against some less disabled riders, but managed to limit their losses to take third and fourth overall respectively.
The UCI Paracycling calendar continues with the Défi sportif-Route in Montréal (May 1-3).
TFL SEEKS SPONSOR FOR LONDON CYCLE HIRE SCHEME
As the Capital gears up for the launch of its Cycle Hire scheme, the search has begun for a suitable sponsor.
From May 2010, people will be able to pick up and drop off hire bikes at 400 locations across the nine London boroughs and several Royal Parks that make up London’s Zone One travel area. An initial 6,000 hire bikes are expected to support around 40,000 extra daily cycle trips in central London.
TfL is seeking a single company to act as a sponsor for up to the first five years of the Cycle Hire scheme, and sponsorship opportunities for the successful bidding company include:
-Joint PR opportunities and media partnerships
-Co-branding on TfL marketing initiatives
The Parisian Vélib scheme has benefited from private funding, with its sponsor agreeing to responsibility for the upkeep of the bicycles in return for marketing opportunities.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson commented: "The public response to our cycle hire plans has been fantastic, and I'm sure that this excitement will be replicated amongst potential sponsors.
“I know people will be attracted to the scheme, but such is the widespread enthusiasm that I am certain that the selected company will also feel a huge benefit to being part of it. This - London's next transport icon - will be the cleanest, greenest, and healthiest way of getting about the city."
TfL is accepting tenders and interested parties should visit https://tfl.bravosolution.co.uk. The closing date is June 5.
MANX TEAM GEARING UP FOR 2009
Above: the Manx National team shaping up for a successful 2009
The Manx National cycling team (Team Isle of Man–Microgaming) recently unveiled its new kit at the AN Post-Sponsored Gorey Three Day cycling event in Ireland.
The team dominated the day’s proceedings, with Tim Kennaugh (brother of Pete Kennaugh) winning the race overall and the Manx squad also winning the team competition.
The team prides itself on training, preparing and supporting cyclists throughout their cycling career.
A number of members have been selected at national level, including Mark Cavendish and Johnny Bellis.
The team will be at the Youth Tour in the Isle of Man on May 1-3 over the Bank Holiday.
SCHOOL CYCLING DOUBLED IN 2008
The number of pupils cycling to school every day rose from four per cent to eight per cent, out of 19,000 pupils surveyed in ‘Bike It’ schools during 2008.
Sustrans has called on the Government to recognise this success and increase their support to help Sustrans double the number of children cycling over the next two years.
Sustrans also confirmed that pupils cycling at least once a week rose dramatically from 14 per cent to 26 per cent as a direct result of Bike It’s work to create a cycling culture in UK schools.
Paul Osborne, Sustrans’ Director of School Travel says, “A striking 49% of pupils say they would prefer to cycle to school. Their schools not only report less traffic but also say they see many more pupils being far more physically active.
“With the evidence so plain, I must call on Transport, Education and Health Ministers across the UK to look carefully at what we have achieved and to give Sustrans the financial resources and support it needs to ensure every school child can take part in Bike It.”
Monday's British news
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