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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, January 6, 2012

Date published:
January 06, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Former world champion Bates calls time on her career

    Kate Bates (Aus)
    Article published:
    December 13, 2011, 21:40 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Comeback journey over due to back injury

    Kate Bates doesn't want to turn her back on the bike, but her body is telling her to. As the London Olympic Games sit so agonisingly close on the horizon, the Australian stalwart of the track and road is announcing her retirement today, although it's not an easy decision as she tells Cyclingnews.

    "I said when I was on this little comeback journey that all I wanted to do was see how far I could get again and it has really stalled and it's stalled for quite a while now," Bates explains from her Adelaide training base. "It's time to be realistic about it all."

    It's a little over a year since Bates returned to competition following a labral tear (the cartilage that surrounds the ball and socket joint) in her right hip with the goal of competing at the London Games in Australia's team pursuit squad. The injury which had genuinely threatened to end her career was mended through surgery and rehabilitation, 18 months after the crash while racing for Columbia Highroad in Italy which it stemmed from. However, with so much focus on her hip, it was Bates' back which suffered.

    The thought of having yet another cortisone injection to stay on the bike was something Bates was keen to avoid. Athletes often speak of knowing when it’s time to bow out and the factors such a decision involves – to leave their chosen sport at the top of their game; to have certain event boxes ticked – details that crop up over the long hours spent alone with thoughts out training or more recently in Bates' case, on the physio's table.

    Bates started her last race the Cronulla event of the NSW Grand Prix, but admits that it was after being pieced back together by her physio. "In any normal circumstance, there's no way I would have started Cronulla," the 29-year-old admits. "It was important to me that some of this was on my terms. It is a very difficult thing to have decisions made for...

  • O'Shea, Edmondson primed for Cycling Australia Madison National Championship

    Glenn O'Shea (Australia) powers off of the start line.
    Article published:
    December 15, 2011, 3:08 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    World champions Howard and Meyer lacking track time

    Glenn O'Shea thinks it may be prime time to get a win over dual-world champion madison pairing Leigh Howard and Cameron Meyer at Saturday's Cycling Australia Madison National Championship, taking place at Melbourne's DISC Velodrome.

    The madison titles are being run in conjunction with the Para-cycling and Omnium National Championships held on Thursday and Friday.

    Adding to what looms as a fascinating showdown, will be the pairing of junior world champions Jackson Law and Caleb Ewan.

    O'Shea will partner with Alex Edmondson in the event, and will be hoping to continue on from their Astana World Cup gold medal-winning performance. It was O'Shea's first World Cup appearance since 2009 following a protracted battle with illness with the 22-year-old from Bendigo returning to competition at the Australian Track National Championships last January.

    Following the Astana World Cup, O'Shea continued on to the Gent Six Day with compatriot Luke Roberts where they finished eighth overall. Next up was Zurich Six Day where O'Shea paired with Switzerland's Silvan Dillier to claim second overall all.

    It's this extra racing on the track which is giving O'Shea and Edmondson the confidence to believe they can outsmart Howard and Meyer.

    "They've been at the GreenEdge camp so I don't think they'll be at their absolute best so if there was a chance to knock them off I think this weekend might be it," O'Shea told Cyclingnews.

    Howard meanwhile said that he and Meyer's lack of track preparation is "an understatement" this week.

    "It's been about eight months since Cam and I even put our leg over a track bike so it's going to be a shock to the system," he admitted to Cyclingnews explaining that they planned to get at least one...

  • USA Cycling announces pool of track riders for 2012 Olympics

    Sarah Hammer will be the USA's main hope at London 2012
    Article published:
    December 17, 2011, 21:16 GMT
    Cycling News

    19 track cyclists eligible for Olympic team selection

    USA Cycling started formulating its plans for track racing at the London 2012 Olympic Games by revealing the names of 19 riders who are eligible for selection to the team. Eleven women and eight men have been chosen as members of the long team. They will have to prove their fitness and form in the coming months to the selectors who will decide on the final line-up.

    Of the 11 women, only one of them was an automatic choice. Sarah Hammer's second placed finish at the 2011 UCI Track World Championships and her victories at World Cup events in Manchester and Cali meant that she met the selection criteria.

    Discretionary picks include her teammates and silver medallists from this year's team pursuit at the world championships, Dotsie Bauch and Jennie Reed.

    All eight men selected for the men's pool of riders were discretionary choices and include three riders (Michael Blatchford, Bobby Lea and Giddeon Massie) who competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. 

    Dotsie Bausch
    Elizabeth Carlson
    Tela Crane
    Dana Feiss
    Madalyn Godby
    Sarah Hammer
    Cari Higgins
    Jennie Reed
    Lauren Tamayo
    Jennifer Valente
    Cristin Walker

    Michael Blatchford
    Bobby Lea
    Kevin Mansker
    Giddeon Massie
    T.J. Mathieson
    Taylor Phinney
    Dean Tracy
    Jimmy Watkins

  • Geraint Thomas scoops BOA award

    Geraint Thomas talks to the press
    Article published:
    December 22, 2011, 19:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Welsh star named 2011 Olympic Athlete of the Year for cycling

    The British Olympic Association (BOA) has named Welshman Geraint Thomas as its 2011 Olympic Athlete of the Year for cycling after he performed a crucial all-round role in Team Sky's success over the course of the season. Thomas was also recognised for his success in the team pursuit at the UCI Track World Cup in Manchester, where he helped his team to the gold medal.

    The award was launched in 2005 to help mark both the BOA's centenary and the award of the 2012 Olympic Games to London. The BOA presents 33 awards each year to athletes from 33 summer and winter Olympic sports.

    "The Olympic Athlete of the Year award celebrates the excellence of athletes who represent the very best of British talent in their respective Olympic sports," said BOA chief executive Andy Hunt. "I wish all the award winners the very best as they enter the home straight of their preparations for London 2012, or continue their journey towards Sochi 2014."

    “If I am honest, it's a massive shock to receive this great award! But it is also a massive honour," said Thomas. "The way cycling is at the minute makes this an even greater achievement. It is really nice to get some recognition for all the dedication and hard work that we put in day in day out."

  • Viviani hoping for track success at London 2012 Olympics

    Stage winner Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale).
    Article published:
    December 28, 2011, 11:47 GMT
    Cycling News

    Liquigas-Cannondale's rising star going for gold on the track

    After a highly promising start to his professional career, Liquigas-Cannondale rider Elia Viviani has outlined some ambitious plans for 2012, which are set to take in some prestigious early season targets before an assualt on the ominium race at the London Olympics in the summer. Eight victories in 2011 gave notice of the 22-year-old Italian's potential and, buoyed by his success, he is now launching a twin-pronged attack on both road and track.

    According to Biciciclismo, Gazetta dello Sport is reporting that Viviani's early season schedule will be a mixture of road and track races. He'll start off at the Tour de San Luis before taking in the GP Etruscan Cup, the Giro Reggio Calabria, the London track World Cup, Giro Sardegna and Paris-Nice. He'll then focus his attention to the Track World Championships in Australia in early April, his first major target of the year.

    Viviani's performances there will then dictate the remainder of his season. If he qualifies for the Olympic Games, the omnium in London will become his main summer target. If he fails to make the Italian team then he will instead focus on the Giro d'Italia in his homeland.  

  • Great Britain commit to sending full strength team to World Championships

    Team Great Britain (Matthew Crampton/Chris Hoy/Jason Kenny), Men's Team Sprint (Track World Championships, Apeldoorn, Ned)
    Article published:
    December 29, 2011, 0:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Brailsford says Melbourne is too important to miss

    British National High Performance director Dave Brailsford has back pedalled on suggestions that he was apprehensive about sending a full strength team to Australia for the Melbourne UCI Track World Championships.

    "We just can't give up any opportunities to race, the Olympics are getting too close," Brailsford told UK newspaper the Telegraph.

    "There are just two world cup meetings and the world championships in Melbourne left now. The clock is counting down very quickly.

    "There is something about the process of pinning a number on your back in a major competition and going to the start line at a world championships, there is no substitute for that."

    Brailsford had initially commented that the World Championships proximity to the Olympic games and the long transit times associated with getting to Australia from the United Kingdom may be a hindrance rather than a benefit of his gold medal chasing team.

    But If all goes to plan, Brailsford says Melbourne will provide Great Britain with a psychological advantage over their rivals ahead of the Olympic Games in London.

    "You have got to get used to it - you have got to go out into the velodrome on race day and go through the process. It's the closest you will get in terms of preparing for the Olympics," Brailsford said.

    "If it goes well we will have landed a few psychological blows on our main opponents and if it does not go so well in some events we still have some time to put it right and you can change a lot in three months."

    The always enthralling team pursuit battle, the Victoria Pendleton - Anna Meares rivalry in the women's sprint events and the Sir Chris Hoy and Shane Perkins matchup in the men's keirin all promise to be fiery encounters in both Melbourne and London.

  • Pendleton's future uncertain after 2012 London Olympics

    Pendleton will be taking a career break after London 2012
    Article published:
    January 03, 2012, 16:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    'Queen Vic' to take a year off after Games

    The 2012 Olympic Games in London could be the last for Great Britain's Victoria Pendleton, after she revealed plans to take a year away from the sport in its aftermath and take stock of what she wants to do with the rest of her life. Pendleton, who won sprint gold on the track at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and who has also won  a total of eight world championship golds, says that her post-Beijing experience has told her that she needs to take a clean break from cycling next autumn.

    “I’m going to take a year out for sure after London, and then decide what I’m doing”, she told The Mirror.

    "After Beijing, I had a sort of slump and I should have given myself a break and I see that now. I’ve been training full-time with very limited breaks and holidays for the last 10 years, and post-Olympics 2008 I was back in training and on the track in September training for the national championships. I felt very low and unmotivated. No-one really stepped in and stopped me, and I didn’t have the experience myself to know so I want to do it a little differently this time around.

    "2013 will be a year out and then I’ll reassess things. I have been talking about retiring, but who knows? Everyone keeps saying to me, ‘You won’t be able to live without cycling’ - but I’d like to do some mountain biking just for fun, try some new things and give myself a bit of a break, mentally and physically.”

    Whether or not that rest period will extend into a permanent break from the sport remains to be seen. In recent weeks and months Pendleton has

  • Baugé and France lose World track titles

    Grégory Baugé (France) equalled the three-in-a-row wins of his coach Florian Rousseau
    Article published:
    January 06, 2012, 15:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Results invalidated after missed doping controls

    Grégory Baugé's results from the 2011 Track World Championships have been invalidated, the International Cycling Union announced Friday. The Frenchman loses his third consecutive individual sprint title and also cost his national squad its team sprint title due to anti-doping rule violations.

    On November 8, the French cycling federation (FFC) handed Baugé a backdated one year suspension, from December 23, 2010, to December 22, 2011, for violating the “whereabouts” requirements. There were two violations “regarding rider availability” and one missed test, all within 18 months.

    In light of the suspension, “the UCI today informed the FFC that all the results obtained by the rider and by any team of which he was a member during that period have been nullified by this decision.”

    The team sprint title now goes to Germany, with Great Britain moving up to second place and Australia taking third. In the individual sprint, Jason Kenny of Great Britain takes the gold, with Chris Hoy also of Great Britain claiming second and Frenchman Mickael Bourgain taking third.

    Baugé's attorney issued a statement saying the rider was shocked at the decision, stating that the UCI reversed the decision of the FFC, which only called for a suspension and not the nullification of results, adding the rider was only notified yesterday and the deadline for appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has already passed. The UCI responded, saying it is only following its own rules by cancelling Bauge's accomplishments.

    Kenny issued a statement following the UCI's announcement, saying the news of his new world...