Barker and Clarke to lead Pendragon in 2010
PENDRAGON-LE COL-COLNAGO LINE-UP UNVEILED
Former GB international Yanto Barker joins South West-based squad Pendragon for 2010 aiming to be back on top of his game.
"I have no intentions of settling for a secondary level," said the 29 year old, who is already training hard for the new season after this year's comeback that included an excellent third place in the CiCLE Classic.
Barker represented Wales in the 2006 Commonwealth Games and finished ninth overall in the previous year's Tour of Britain, but retired from professional cycling in 2007. Now he combines a cycle clothing business, Le Col, with a renewed desire for top-level racing.
"I am training as if I were a pro in the morning, and then going to the office in the afternoon," said Barker. "But I am allocating enough time to do as much training as I have ever needed to do, because I want to get back to 2005 levels in terms of fitness and strength. That makes me one of the top three guys in the country."
The 11-man squad will ride under the name of Pendragon Sports/Le Col/Colnago, with Barker's company supplying the clothing and legendary Italian bike manufacturer Colnago the bikes.
Dave Clarke will again be in the colours of Pendragon to lead the line with Barker, while new signings Chris Opie and Australian Casey Munro make for a much strengthened squad.
Opie has a win at the Ronde de Antwerp on his palmares, with Munro joining from South Africa-based Konica Minolta. Former Rapha-Condor prospect Rhys Lloyd also comes aboard.
The team are targeting the Premier Calendar, Nocturne Series, National Circuit series and the Tour Series (pending invite) along with a mix of international and regional races.
Pendragon Sports / Le Col / Colnago Cycling Team 2010
Jack Adams Elite
Yanto Barker Elite
David Clarke Elite
Kieran Frend First
Steve Lampier Elite
Rhys Lloyd Elite
Casey Munro Elite
Chris Opie Elite
George Richardson First
Richard Tanguy Elite
James Williams Elite
STOREY AIMING FOR ABLE-BODIED WORLD RECORD
Hot on the heels of setting a new LC3 individual pursuit world record of 3-34 at the Paracycling world championships in Manchester, Sarah Storey has switched her focus to toppling the able-bodied world best.
"I'm going to change all my targets in the run-up to London," she explained. "I think my long term goal has got to be the able-bodied world record - I'm less than 10 seconds away now. It would be a really tall order, but you've got to keep aiming high."
The world record currently belongs to New Zealand's Sarah Ulmer, who clocked 3-24-537 on her way to the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics. 32-year-old Storey has progressed to riding the same gear ratio that Ulmer used to set the standard.
Sarah Storey in action on the boards
Storey, who is in the middle of a winter break from training, attributes her shifted focus and improving times to the indomitable spirit within the GB camp. "You've got the competitiveness, where everyone's trying to aim as high as possible and they're pushing each other on," she commented.
She also pointed to the advice given by the team's support network. "We always get told by Steve Peters [Team GB sport psychologist] that we need to have a goal which is just that little bit too far out of reach."
The Paralympic gold medallist, who successfully defended her national individual pursuit title last month, fully recognises the difficulty of the challenge she has set herself.
"If you don't get there, then you've done your best; if you do, then it's a brilliant one to have. The pieces of the jigsaw are there and I'll see if I can get to it."
PERRETT SIGNS FOR MAGNUSMAXIMUSCOFFEE.COM
European junior time trial champion Joe Perrett has inked a deal with UCI Continental squad MagnusMaximusCoffee.com for 2010.
Team general manager Martin McCrossan commented: "We're delighted to have him on board. We both see him as one of the most exciting talents in the country at the moment."
"There's a family connection too - he's Magnus [Backstedt]'s wife's third cousin. We've both known him since he was pretty young."
Essex-based Perrett allegedly turned down offers from several teams, including Lance Armstrong's Trek-Livestrong team, to sign with Magnus Backstedt's Swedish outfit.
He could join also link up with compatriots Daniel Patten and Russell Hampton, who both rode for the squad this season.
ROWE AND MOULD ON FORM AT THE GENT SIX
ODP Academy riders Luke Rowe and Jon Mould are currently racing in the UIV Cup at the Gent Six. After the first night's competition, the talented Welsh pair were sitting pretty in second place.
They will be hoping to follow the examples set by ex-Academy riders Peter Kennaugh and Adam Blythe, who won the 2007 competition in the Kuipke velodrome and have both gone on to seal ProTour contracts on the road.
CYCLE SPEEDWAY HEADS INDOORS
Cycle speedway moves under cover for the winter and you can catch the best riders in the country in action at the British Indoor Championships in Salford this weekend [November 28/29].
Fit City Broughton, just two miles from Manchester city centre, is the venue for the two-days of fast and furious racing.
Juniors race on Saturday, with seniors and veterans competing on Sunday, when defending team champions Wednesfield take on regular challengers Horspath in the team classification.
Fit City Broughton, Camp Street, Salford. M7 1ZT.
0915 Saturday, November 28
0900 Sunday, November 29
CYCLING FROM CORNWALL TO CAPE TOWN
Sean Maher was featured in the October 8 edition of Cycling Weekly. With job options thin on the ground in credit crunch-hit England, the university graduate opted to literally ride out the recession by cycling from Cornwall to Cape Town for charity.
The likeable Maher has been on the road for just over two weeks now, having caught the ferry to Bilbao. However, as he heads into southern Spain, clocking up 50-60 miles a day, things aren't quite going to plan.
Humorously detailed in scribblings on his blog, his travel travails already include train problems, crippling back pain, mistaken theft of personal items by gypsies, negotiating the red light district of Madrid and going wildly over budget. At this rate, Africa could be very "interesting".
Follow Sean's progress at http://recessioncycle.blogspot.com/ or as SeanMaher88 on Twitter.