Wednesday's British news round-up
PENDRAGON TEAM LAUNCH
The new Pendragon Sports-Kalas team was launched in Somerton on Monday.
The team will draw talent from the South West and will target the National Circuit Race series, Nocturne events, Premier Calendar and, they hope, the televised Tour Series criteriums.
Brian Johnson and Andrew Crocker will run the team, with Nick Bourne's Pendragon Sports management company behind the venture.
Johnson said: "This is not a six-month goal or a one-year goal, this is a five-year plan to compete in the UK and, eventually, internationally.
"We want to provide riders in the South West with a platform to make it in this sport. If you are 16 years old and you have a bit of talent, you have to go north. For kids down here, everywhere is north, and Manchester seems a million miles away.
"I've seen the sport lose a lot of people. Hopefully a team based in this area can offer coaching and support but also the logistical support to travel further afield to bigger races.
"So we want this team to become something people in the area can aspire to."
Above: Pendragon team launch in Somerton on Monday
Johnson added that he hoped the team would secure an invite to the Tour Series of criteriums.
"I'd like to think we have a chance of getting in, but if not, then we'd really appreciate the opportunity to ride in the events that are in our region, such as Exeter.
"We will focus on the National Circuit Race series because we have a good few crit riders. When it comes to choosing the Premier Calendar events we do, we'll make decisions on what is best for the longer-term development of the riders. We don't want to expose younger riders to too much too soon, and we don't want to over-stretch guys who have to work, or have family commitments. Our job is to strike the balance."
The team will ride Kona King Zing bikes and the next major race will be the Bikeline Two-Day in March.
2009 Pendragon Sports-Kalas team
Clarke to lead new southwest-based team
BRITS IN FRANCE
Five British riders will take to the start of the Tour of the Mediterranean, starting in France today.
Steve Cummings, Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome will line up for their Barloworld squad in today’s short road stage and team time trial.
Riding for Garmin Slipstream will be Bradley Wiggins and David Millar along with young Irish climber, Dan Martin.
There is slightly more climbing than usual in this year’s race, with the final stage from Nice to Mont-Faron concluding with a summit finish.
FLEEMAN IN LANGKAWI
Britain’s Dan Fleeman (Cervélo Test Team) is currently in action at the Tour de Langkawi.
The first three stages have ended with a bunch sprint and Fleeman has so far managed to stay out of trouble and currently lies 40th overall, 30 seconds down on current race-leader, Mattia Gavazzi.
The most important stage of the race is likely to come on Friday with the ascent of the notorious Genting Highlands, which often decides the final outcome of the race.
HOG HILL TEST RIDE DAY
LondonCycleSport will host a Test Ride Day at the new Hog Hill Cycle Circuit in Redbridge on Sunday February 22.
The event is will give riders a chance to test a good selection of bikes over the gruelling 2km road circuit or on the off-road tracks.
The organisers will be bringing along bikes from Independent Fabrication, Pegoretti, Moots, Milani, Fixie Inc, Litespeed, Merlin and Ibis. For further details and to book a ride, please visit http://www.cycleweb.co.uk/newsite/ridedaybrands5.htm
Cycle retailer Mosquito will also be demonstrating its SICI certified Sizecycle fitting system with their fitting expert, Roger, practicing fits on three volunteers during the day. A great chance to learn more about the importance of proper 'fit' on the bike.
GREENER TRAVEL WITH SOUTH WEST TRAINS
South West Trains has joined forces with Brompton Bicycle in a bid to encourage passengers to get on their bike by launching a new folding bicycle hire scheme.
The scheme, which has been given the thumbs up by CTC, will give users the chance to enjoy a fully integrated journey combining bike and train.
The company has invited some of its season ticket holders to take part in a free three-month trial of the scheme.
Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Brian Souter, explained: “Our extensive consumer research around the UK has found that environmental concerns are growing. People are looking for travel choices that will help reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
“Cycling is growing in popularity and many people are now looking to get on their bikes as part of an integrated trip that also involves using trains or buses. We hope this innovative initiative will make it easier for people to take the greener smarter travel option, stay healthy and help save the planet.”
Passengers will be able to hire the South West Trains’ branded Brompton bicycles from the Lost Property Office at Waterloo station.
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Monday's British news round-up
Thursday's British news round-up