Monday's British news round-up
CRACKNELL AND CO BREAK END-TO-END RECORD
James Cracknell's Team HotChillee have broken the record for the Land's End to John O'Groats (LEJOG). The quartet, also comprising Steve Golla, Phill Sykes and Jerone Walters, set a fierce pace from the start, ultimately reaching the most northerly settlement on the British mainland in 34 hours, 54 minutes and 04 seconds - a staggering average speed of 24.10mph.
After the effort, Cracknell commented: "It was an honour to be part of this fantastic team. This wasn't a plod up the country. They were taking me along at 25 mph at times. It was an amazing experience to ride up the entire length of the country. Everyone was pushing themselves so hard and at times it was extremely tough."
Jerone Walters, who rides for Sigma Sport on the road, added: "It was really tough but we pushed each other when the 35 hour mark was in our sights. We just got faster and faster over the last couple of hours. This was a great end to the season for me."
POORLY FIELD FLIES IN CZECH REPUBLIC
World champion Niels Albert claimed the second round of the cyclo-cross World Cup in Plzen ahead of arch rival Sven Nijs. However, a few minutes behind, Ian Field of Hargroves Cycles enjoyed another strong ride to finish 28th, his best ever World Cup performance.
However, the 24-year-old felt far from at the top of his game on the morning of the race. "I woke up on Sunday feeling proper ill - a headache, runny nose and all sorts," Field explained. "But having travelled seven hours [to the Czech Republic] I wasn't not going to start!"
He continued: "I wasn't expecting too much. I got a good start; it wasn't a technical course, but because it was so slippy the corners turned out to be quite tricky, so I was able to make up a fair bit of time there. I'm pretty happy with that."
Field now heads to the Nacht van Woerden in Holland tomorrow before the prestigious Koppenbergcross at the weekend.
1. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus 1-05-13
2. Sven Nijs (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago at 19secs
3. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea CT at 21secs
4. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea CT at 24secs
5. Francis Mourey (Fra) Francaise des Jeux at 38secs
28. Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles at 3-46
SHAW ON SONG IN FRANCE
The road season may be coming to a close, but reigning BBAR Julia Shaw is showing no signs of slowing down. On Sunday, she showed her ability against the clock at the Chrono des Nations-Les Herbiers in the Vendee, claiming third place.
Victory went to the evergreen Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli, still going strong after 30 years at the top of the sport.
Briton Pippa Handley, who rides for Team Tubanters, took ninth on the 20km course.
1. Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (Fra) AS Palais Sports Alpexpo 28-52
2. Trine Schmidt (Den) Team Flexpoint at 33 secs
3. Julia Shaw (Gbr) Utag Yamaha at 1-15
4. Melodie Lesueur (Fra) ESGL 93-GSD Gestion at 1-16
5. Edwige Pitel (Fra) AS Palais Sports Alpexpo at 1-41
9. Pippa Handley (Gbr) Team Tubanters at 3-03
HILL CLIMB ROUNDUP
The biggest attendance of the weekend came at the Yorkshire Velo event, with 47 finishers. Reigning national champion Matt Clinton (Mikevaughan.co.uk) had to settle for second place, finishing over a minute behind Daniel Shand of West Pennine RC.
In beating Clinton for the second weekend in a row - after claiming narrow victory on Holme Moss - Belgian-based Shand has emerged as a favourite for this weekend's national hill climb championship on Pea Royd Lane.
awcycles.co.uk rider Matt Melville prevailed in the Weston Wheelers CC hill-climb on Saturday, finishing 45 seconds ahead of closest challenger James Reis (Bristol South CC).
In the ECCA Hill Climb, Mark Arnold (API - Metrow) was fastest, edging out Jonathan Shubert of Verulam CC by two seconds. Arnold's team-mate, ace time-trialist Nino Piccoli, claimed third place.
In Sunday's Huddersfield CA hill climb, Andrew Metcalf of Wehterby Wheelers narrowly beat Alistair Wareham and Andrew Pearson.
Charles Taylor (South Pennine RC) was on form at the Matlock CC event, comprising hill climbs of Riber and Bank Road. He held off a challenge from course record holder Dave Clarke to win on Riber in the morning, before also finishing fastest, just ahead of Chris Metcalfe (Matlock CC) and James Shaw (Pembrokeshire Velo), on Bank Road a few hours later.
However, Pendragon rider Clarke did claim victory at yesterday's Chesterfield Coureurs hill climb. James Dobbin was his closest rival, his time of 9-05 four seconds off the best mark. Chris Myhill (Peak Road Club) was third, clocking 9-25.
BRITISH CYCLING STEPS UP EFFORTS TO BOOST COMPETITIVE EVENTS
Hot on the heels of a successful summer, which saw Sky and British Cycling deliver a series of recreational mass participation cycling events through the Skyride initiative, British Cycling is stepping up its efforts to boost competitive sport with the launch of a new regional support structure for clubs, volunteers and race officials.
This week, the national governing body for cycling has appointed nine regional event officers who will play a key role in driving the growth and quality of competitive cycling events in Britain. The move will create a much needed link between local event organisers and British Cycling and offer them access to new training opportunities and expertise.
The regional event officers, who have been appointed in partnership with British Cycling's regional boards, will report to Lisa Graham, Regional Events Team Manager, who will liaise directly with the Cycle Sport and Membership Department via Jonathan Day, Cycle Sport Events Manager.
Over the next few months, the officers will carry out an audit of their regions to assess current event structure, identify gaps in provision and areas of opportunities. Working with regional boards, British Cycling will develop individual event programmes tailored to the regions, aimed at increasing capacity and improving the quality of events.
Each programme will be supported by training courses for volunteers, race officials and commissaires that will equip them with new skills and improve their experience of hosting competitive cycling events.
Jonny Clay, Cycle Sport and Membership Director, said: "This initiative is a major step forward in securing a great future for competitive events in Britain across all cycling disciplines and I am delighted that we are finally able to roll out the scheme to an enthusiastic response from our regions.
"Once the new structure is established, not only will we be better placed to train, reward and retain those at the heart of event delivery but we will also be able to broaden the geographical coverage of races, inspire greater participation in competitive events and more effectively connect with local organisers such as local authorities and the police.
"We have hired a fantastic team, all of whom have either competed themselves, organised races and sportives or worked as volunteers. We have former elite riders and talent coaches in the team and everyone is passionate about competitive sport and the potential the next few years hold for its growth in Britain."
The regional event officers are:
Yorkshire - Pete Sutton
North West - Phil West
North East - Andrew Johnston
West Midlands - Jo Lyons
East Midlands - Jenny Gretton
Eastern - Rachel Fenton
Central - Mark Doel
South West - Andrew Parker
South - Mason Thomas
For more information, visit www.britishcycling.org.uk.