Dixon sets optimistic targets for Team GB at 'cross Worlds
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BRITISH CYCLING AIMING HIGH AT CYCLO-CROSS WORLDS
British Cycling cyclo-cross team manager Phil Dixon is setting optimistic goals for his Team GB charges at this weekend's World Championships in Tabor.
Before outlining the targets, he explained that the more professional recent approach given to the squad should have a positive effect on the results.
"The set-up is working well. Now we have mechanics and carers that are full-time when, in previous years, cyclo-cross was a separate entity from British Cycling. I think that'll rub off on the riders."
Firstly, Dixon emphasised that he'd like to see the juniors competing a little more, looking for "top twenties rather than 30s and 40s as in previous years."
Alex Paton shoulders his stead at last year's junior race in Treviso.
"They've got much more chance of getting up there because a lot of the juniors from other countries haven't experienced conditions like this either. They need a little bit of the rub of the green, but I'd like to think they can make their own luck," he added.
The former National Trophy winner pinpointed the women's race as Great Britain's best chance of a high finish. With Helen Wyman, Nikki Harris and Gabby Day all full-time cross racers in Belgium, he was hoping for "a couple of single-figure finishes",
As for the men's event, Dixon commented, "there's not much to choose between them [Field, Crawforth and Oldham]. A top 30 from one would be a really good result; gridded back in the forties and fifties, the team's got to be outstanding."
The conditions in the Czech Republic are not quite as severe as some had feared. Though it's been snowing every night, it was a positively-tropical -2ºC in Tabor today.
The junior's race is at 11am tomorrow, with the men's and women's events on Sunday.
See our World Championship preview here >>
ENDURA SIGN EX-COFIDIS RIDER BLAIN
At Endura's snazzy Silverstone team launch today, the exciting signing of ex-ProTour man Alexandre Blain was revealed.
28-year-old Blain turned professional with Cofidis in 2008. In his two-year spell there, he finished Paris-Roubaix, Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Tours, riding in support of the likes of Sylvain Chavanel and Nick Nuyens.
The Frenchman, who posseses a decent sprint, is expected to make his debut at the Tour du Haut Var on February 20.
Read next week's edition of Cycling Weekly for more from the Scottish-registered squad's team launch.
HOY AND PENDLETON TOP THE BILL AT NEW REVOLUTION 28 EVENT
Tickets for Revolution 28 are already sold out, but organisers Face Parternship have created a new event to tie in with the National Madison Championships.
Olympic stars Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton have been confirmed for an afternoon's sprint racing, a great opportunity for anyone who missed out on the always-popular Revolution event which follows it.
Visit www.cyclingrevolution.com or call Manchester Velodrome on 0161 223 2244 for tickets.
ROLLAPALUZA WINTER LEAGUE/LONDON NATIONAL SERIES QUALIFIER ON WEDNESDAY
The penultimate round of Rollapaluza's 'Brass Monkey' winter roller-racing league takes place on Wednesday February 3 at the Half Moon Pub in Herne Hill.
It will also double up as the London regional qualifier for the Rollapaluza National Series, meaning that the fastest riders will progress to compete against the best from around the UK at the overall final.
Trek-Livestrong professional Alex Dowsett (above) made an appearance at the last event, which was won by track sprinter Miles Stovold.
Qualification takes place from 6-9pm; it costs £5 to enter or spectate.
You can enter in advance online at RiderHQ.
For more details, visit Rollapaluza.
WIGGLE-SPONSORED SPORTIVE SERIES OPEN FOR BUSINESS
The Wiggle-sponsored series of road sportives gets underway with the New Forest Spring Sportive on April 18.
The distances on offer for this opening event on the quiet forest roads of the National Park are 83 and 56 miles.
All ten rides in the series are based in the South of England, finishing with the South Downs 100 Sportive on October 24.
For more details and to enter, go to www.ukcyclingevents.co.uk.
TAKE ON THE WHITE HORSE CHALLENGE
The White Horse Challenge encompasses of the most beautiful roads - and toughest climb - in the area on its 150-kilometre route through Wiltshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.
Entries open tomorrow for the sportive, which takes place on Sunday April 25.
Visit www.whitehorsechallenge.com to sign up.