Friday's British news round-up
Top stories this week:
-Halfords wins Tour Series on final night
-Cycling levels increase as fatalities drop
-Millar and Wiggins to join Team Sky?
-Wiggins faces disqualification after winning Kent Valley RT '10'
-Hutchinson wins National '50'
BJERGFELT OPTIMISTIC ABOUT NATIONALS CHANCES
Sports Beans’ Will Bjergfelt last week won the Kalas Two-Day and is optimistic about his chances about the National Championships this coming Sunday.
“I’ve got fairly high expectations of myself because I’ve been going well recently,” Bjergfelt explained to Cycling Weekly.
"Effectively, this week has been fairly easy, with the exception of the two Tour Series criteriums which have been my interval training.
“Although I’ve been doing the Tour Series, I’ve still been doing the Premier Calendars at the weekends, which have been my longer rides.”
The course has been lengthened this week from 160km to 200km; rumour has it that this was done to cater to the demands of the continental-based riders.
“The longer course suits me down to the ground,” said Bjergfelt, “the longer the better. With my mountain bike background, I’m more than used to doing six hours on the bike.
“Back in November we did a recce of the course as a team so we know what’s coming. The Tumble is definitely hard enough to split the race into two or three groups. I can see a group of 25-30 going escaping over the top of the Tumble together, myself included”.
HARRIS RIDING WITHOUT PRESSURE
Nikki Harris returns from the continent as one of the favourites to take the women’s National Championships tomorrow but insists that she will be riding without any pressure.
“I am looking forward to the race and there will be a lot of strong girls, but I haven’t got any pressure to get a result – just see what happens on the day,” said Harris.
“But it’s really good that are a lot of girls up there in these really big races. It should be good competition.”
Harris was fifth in the recent Raboster Zeeuwsche Eilanden against some formidable opposition, marking her as one of the favourites alongside Nicole Cooke, Emma Pooley and Lizzie Armitstead.
EDMONDSON REFLECTS ON TOM SIMPSON WIN
Joshua Edmondson put on an impressive display of strength to take the junior Tom Simpson GP on Sunday, showing his form is exactly where it needs to be for the junior National Championships.
“I rode well in the regional championships so I knew I was going well,” Edmondson explained.
The Glendene rider escaped with Tim Kennaugh in the closing stages of the race. “I thought Tim was a much better sprinter but I could see that he was a bit tired, so I put in a few digs and then I beat him in the final sprint.”
Organiser Ian Davenport was impressed with Edmondson’s performance. “They were together up Wrights Hill for the last time and sprinted hard for the line with Josh getting the sprint by half a wheel. He rode very strongly and timed his effort well. It was a great win given the strength of the field.”
Edmondson was optimistic about his chances ahead of the National Championships.
“There are a lot of strong riders and it’s going to be a difficult race. We [Glendene CC] have a chance of doing something but Tim Kennaugh is going well at the moment too”.
TRACK WORLD CUP TICKETS ON SALE
Manchester velodrome will once again play host to the opening round of the track World Cup this October.
Last year’s event was a sell-out success, and as such, tickets for this year’s event will go on sale this coming Monday (June 29) at 9am via Ticketmaster.
Tickets cost £15 per day for adults and £7.50 for children. Family tickets of four can also be purchased for £37.60.
Tickets can be purchased via www.ticketmaster.co.uk
SEAN YATES: CORRECTION
Contrary to speculation that Sean Yates has suffered a stroke, the retired professional actually had what one source close to him described as a “dizzy spell”.
Yates underwent tests but received the all clear; he has had no after-effects from the symptoms.
Yates suffers from a heart condition, called atrial fibrillation, meaning his heart sometimes receives contradictory messages from the brain, making it go haywire.
WYMAN AND DAY PART WAYS WITH VISION 1
Helen Wyman and Gabby Day have left the Vision 1 team of World and Olympic champion, Nicole Cooke.
Wyman’s husband, Stefan, also made the decision to leave the team recently to concentrate on other projects.
Helen Wyman and Gabby Day were set for a heavier road programme this season, but will now return their focus to cyclo-cross.
In other news, Vision 1 re-launched its website this week.
See www.vision1cycling.com for more.
TOUR DE FRANCE COMES TO REGENT STREET
Acclaimed theatre company, Theatre Delicatessen, is staging a new play entitled ‘Pedal Pusher’ in London’s west end to coincide with the start of the 2009 Tour de France.
The play charts the lives of three cyclists – Jan Ullrich, Marco Pantani and Lance Armstrong – through five years that changed cycling history forever.
Beginning with Ullrich’s Tour win in 1997, the play uses interviews archive footage and news reports to capture the excitement, intrigue and danger of the race.
See www.theatredelicatessen.co.uk/ for more.
THE NEW STANDARD IN CYCLE SECURITY
The Y-stand could be on the verge of revolutionising cycle security.
A collaboration between two design companies, the device is set to replace the traditional Sheffield rack as the default choice of rack for local authorities and property developers.
Its innovative design encourages users to lock both wheels and the frame to the stand when leaving their bicycle as there is no horizontal member to which cyclists can leave only their frame locked to.
The Y-stand is now in production – with Woking the first council to commission them – so expect to see them in a town centre near you some time soon.
Above: the innovative new Y-stand cycle lock
UK’S FIRST 24-HOUR ROAD CYCLING RACE
Billed as the UK’s first 24-hour road cycling race, the Ride 24 is a unique team relay race that takes place on the Top Gear test track and is organised by Action Medical Research.
Taking its inspiration from the legendary Le Mans 24 Hour race, the event pits teams of four riders against each other with the team completing the most laps declared the winner.
The four riders will share the workload in what will be an intense test of strength and endurance. Medals for the first three teams will be presented at a gala lunch on June 28 by Nicole Cooke.
The event costs £200 per team to enter and a commitment to raise approximately £1,500 per team in sponsorship is required. Further details are to be found at www.action.org.uk
BRITAIN WINS TWO ROUNDS OF UCI MTB WORLD CUP
Just hours after securing the UCI BMX World Championships in 2012, British Cycling revealed that two rounds of the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup will also be held in Britain.
Dalby Forest in North Yorkshire will hold the opening round of the World Cup in the cross country discipline on 24-25 April and Fort William in Scotland will, once again, hold the downhill and four cross round on 5-6 June.
Ian Drake, CEO at British Cycling, commented: “Securing two rounds of the World Cup in 2010 is another great development for cycle sport in the UK which comes just hours after the UCI announced Birmingham as the venue of the 2012 BMX World Championships.
“The UK is the only country to hold two separate rounds of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in 2010…sending a strong message to the mountain bike community that we are serious about mountain biking. Both events will present a great opportunity for fans to engage with mountain biking on their doorstep and will prompt further investment into world-class facilities, helping inspire new generations of riders.”
Monday's British news