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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, May 4, 2012

Date published:
May 04, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Two world titles for GreenEdge in Melbourne

    Cameron Meyer (AUS) had no trouble smilling for the cameras
    Article published:
    April 07, 2012, 23:32 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Bannan pleased as Hepburn, Meyer earn rainbow jerseys

    GreenEdge earned its first two world titles on Saturday evening at the UCI Track World Championships with neo-pro Michael Hepburn winning the individual pursuit crown and Cameron Meyer chasing down his third points race world championship.

    When it came to the individual pursuit, Bobridge and Hepburn were in the same qualifying heat which was merely a preview to the main event with Hepburn also finishing on top.

    "It's something very special but after the disappointment in the team pursuit the other day, that's the one we really wanted," unashamedly admitted Hepburn. "It was nice going into the final knowing that whatever happened, GreenEdge and Australia would have a rainbow jersey in the individual pursuit."

    In the final, given the knowledge that the pair share of each other's style – Bobridge the more aggressive; Hepburn winding up to reach a crescendo – the key was not to panic despite the near-two second lead Bobridge had amassed at the halfway mark in the final.

    Hepburn put the afterburners on, looking across the track every now and again to check on his progress, up ever so slightly with a kilometre left to race.

    "I tried to go into the race confident but at the same time, Jack's probably the best individual pursuiter in the world," Hepburn said. "He's one of the most hungry pursuiters in the world and I knew he wasn't going...

  • Australian track team set for another transitional phase after London 2012

    Cameron Meyer (AUS) had no trouble smilling for the cameras
    Article published:
    April 08, 2012, 17:03 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Tabotta confirms that Meyer is an option to slot into team pursuit

    Just as Australia was forced to begin a new era for its track team following the Beijing Olympic Games, after finishing 12th on the medal table with one silver – a comparative shock after Athens 2004 where the nation finished first with 10 medals, including six gold – national High Performance director Kevin Tabotta has warned that it’s a cycle that will begin again after London.

    At the very centre of this transition, is the men’s team pursuit squad, consisting of Jack Bobridge, Michael Hepburn, Rohan Dennis and Glenn O’Shea, which finished second to Great Britain at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne. Road commitments in the case of Bobridge and Hepburn with trade team GreenEdge will mean that track ambitions will need to take a back seat.

    “We’re already thinking along those lines and developing talent to take us through to Rio [2016] because track endurance now, for a young athlete who’s got a road career, you’re probably looking at a two-to-four year, maybe a four year span for a lot of guys now that are any good on the road,” Tabotta explained.

    Australia is the defending champion in the men’s team pursuit from the 2011 junior worlds in Russia where Jack Cummings, Alex Edmondson, Jackson Law and Alex Morgan claimed gold over Russia. Alex Edmondson has already shown he is in the mix at the senior level as the man who missed out at the very last hurdle on selection for the team in Melbourne.

    “All we’ve done is put a lot more work, more resources, more people, more income to get more people around athletes to do better development,” Tabotta said of the turnaround over the last four years. “It’s not brain surgery. We’ve just worked really hard in a system to support our young talent towards...

  • Brailsford ready to make some tough decisions

    British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford
    Article published:
    April 10, 2012, 17:09 BST
    Cycling News

    Team GB boss reflects on Olympic "conundrums" after Track Worlds success

    It was an up and down few days for Great Britain at the 2012 Track World Championships in Melbourne last week, but things ended on a high for David Brailsford's squad as it finished the championships on top of the medal table for Olympic events ahead of its big rivals for this summer's Games, Australia.

    Brailsford does have a selection dilemma on his plate over the next few weeks though following Jason Kenny's defeat of Sir Chris Hoy in the semi-finals of the individual sprint. In their last competitive international outing before the selection panel finalises the Olympic squad, the 24-year-old Kenny outperformed his more experienced rival, who is the defending Olympic champion in that event, putting himself in pole position to claim the sole Team GB berth for the London 2012 Olympics.

    Hoy has bestrode British track cycling like a colossus for the last decade or so and in some people's minds it is unthinkable that he will be denied the chance to defend his title in front of home fans in August. The 36-year-old Scot will point to the fact that the score this year between the two men stands at 3-1 in his favour - but the old adage that you're only as good as your last performance may be impossible to ignore for a man like Brailsford, who has never let reputations get in the way of progress. And it won't be the only tough decision he will have to make before the summer.

    "Selecting that team is very difficult," Brailsford told BBC Sport. "It doesn't matter what you've done in the past. Our job is to pick the fastest guy."

    Hoy put the disappointment behind him on the final day in Melbourne, racing to gold with a

  • Meyer won't compete in London on the track

    Cameron Meyer (AUS) takes a great win
    Article published:
    April 11, 2012, 0:25 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Three-time world points race champion gives focus to GreenEdge

    Cameron Meyer will not be a part of Australia's track cycling team for the upcoming London Olympic Games, citing a lack of passion for the team pursuit.

    Meyer was a member of the world championship-winning quartet in 2010 but did not compete in the event at the 2011 and 2012 worlds, instead, concentrating on the madison and the points race. Last Saturday, Meyer took out the points race by just a single point over Great Britain's Ben Swift for his third world title in the event, and on Sunday the West Australian teamed up with Leigh Howard for a bronze medal in the madison.

    The 24-year-old indicated over the weekend that he would be meeting with Australian team management after the championships and yesterday it was decided that he would not be a member of the shadow squad for London. He will now focus his energies on the road with trade team GreenEdge.

    "It was a very hard decision to make, but ultimately my passion for the team pursuit isn't 100 per cent," Meyer said in a statement issued by Cycling Australia.

    "In Melbourne, I achieved what I wanted to on the track through my points race win and making the podium for the madison. I take huge satisfaction from that and now want to see what I can achieve on the road."

    Meyer, winner of the 2011 Tour Down Under, and who before returning to Australia for his preparations for the track world championships,...

  • Video: Geraint Thomas on switching road and track

    Great Britain's Geraint Thomas during qualifying
    Article published:
    April 13, 2012, 8:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Team Sky and Great Britain rider on Olympic preparation

    With the 2012 Olympic Games just months away, excitement and tensions are starting to surface. Earlier this month the world was treated to a taste of things to come when Australia hosted the World Track Championships. One of the hotly contested battles was between Great Britain and the home nation for bragging rights -and the rainbow jerseys – in the team pursuit.

    Great Britain came out on top, setting a world record in the process, and in this exclusive video for Cyclingnews, part of the team’s success – Geraint Thomas – talks about the win and what it means ahead of the summer Games.

    Thomas has made the Olympics his biggest aim for the year, which has mean his road career has taken a back seat this season. Thomas talks about the Worlds, the Olympics and the difficulty in switching from the road to the track.

  • UCI confirms track quotas for London Olympic Games

    Great Britain 1- Australia 0
    Article published:
    April 25, 2012, 18:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Australia, Great Britain only countries with full rosters

    The UCI announced today the final allotment of places for the track cycling events in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Great Britain and Australia were the only countries to qualify spots for all ten races on the schedule.

    All together, 34 nations were given the opportunity be represented in track cycling in London. The National Olympic Committees must now confirm they will use the allocations by June 15. Any unused spots will be awarded to countries designated as reserves.

    A total of 188 athletes will compete in track cycling - 104 men and 84 women. There are 10 spots for the men's and women's team sprint (3 athletes for men, 2 for women), 18 athletes in each keirin, individual sprint and omnium and 10 places for team pursuit (4 athletes for men, 3 for women).

    Due to an expansion to the track programme, which created an equal number of events for men and women for the first time in Olympic track cycling history, the UCI also rolled out a complex series of qualification rules. These regulations factored in performances in World Cups and World Championships by nation, which were then ranked in each race, with the final event being the 2012 Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne.

    One of the controversial regulations was a quota limit by continent. Although there were 10 spots for the men's team sprint, The Netherlands, which ranked 10th, was bumped from the event in London by Venezuela because of a limit to the number of European nations per race.

    Similarly, Colombia missed out on the individual sprint in favor of Greece, Germany was left off the men's team pursuit for Korea and the USA, Venezuela and Chile were awarded place in the men's...

  • Lea preparing for return to Olympic Games in London

    Bobby Lea is Team USA's contender for the men's omnium at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London
    Article published:
    April 26, 2012, 19:25 BST
    Neil Browne

    American qualified omnium spot despite long odds

    The UCI confirmed the final allotment of places for track cycling in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. One of those places for Team USA will be reserved for omnium rider Bobby Lea.

    The 2008 Olympian jokingly referring to himself as the Mitt Romney of cycling – the presumptive track candidate for the Olympics. Lea will be officially named to the squad on June 15 after the National Olympic Committees confirm the allocations with the 34 nations who are qualified for the Games.

    Qualification for the 2012 Olympics was a two year process: eight World Cups, two Continental Championships and two World Championships. However, Lea was unaware of when the qualification for the track would begin.

    "I kind of stumbled into the process by accident," Lea tells Cyclingnews. "Initially I had gone back to the track in the 2010-2011 track season to reacquaint myself with world level track racing. But over the summer of 2010 I realized that the Olympic qualification process was starting. There was no time to get reacquainted – I jumped right into the deep end."

    In order to qualify for a spot Lea's strategy was simple: "maximize points at every World Cup."

    By his own admission Lea says that in some events he had better rides and others were, "pretty far off the mark."

    By the merits of his seventh place in the Beijing World Cup and this third place in the Pan American Championships, Lea was on the short list to becoming a two-time Olympian.

    Another factor that helped in his selection was the new rule which no longer chose the top 24 countries with the most UCI points. Instead, the top eight countries from Europe, six from the Americas, five from Asia...

  • Showdown in Colorado Springs before London Olympic Games

    Sprint podium (l-r): Fabian Hernando Puerta (Colombia), Hersony Gadiel Canelon (Venezuela) and Njisane Phillip (Trinidad and Tobago)
    Article published:
    May 04, 2012, 0:16 BST
    Cycling News

    ProCycling US Grand Prix of Sprinting returns

    This summer the Colorado Springs Velodrome in Memorial Park will host the world's fastest cyclists. A field featuring Olympic and world champions is expected to compete from June 22-24 at the 2nd Annual ProCycling US Grand Prix of Sprinting. The event is a marquee event on this year's USA Cycling National Track Calendar and will be one of the final international tune-up events for a number of international teams before they travel to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

    National teams that will be in Colorado Springs for this world-class event as part of their final preparations for the Olympics include: Canada, Columbia, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela and USA.

    At last year's Grand Prix virtually every track record was broken by a world-class field. The riders who line up to compete will be in top form as the 2012 edition of the Grand Prix will take place only six weeks prior to the London Olympic Games. Track records, international points and prize money will all be on the line for the Grand Prix.

    Though Olympic rosters have not been confirmed as of yet, a number of outstanding cyclists from last year’s Grand Prix are expected back in addition to new stars.

    Njisane Phillip (Trinidad & Tobago) was the outstanding male cyclist of the 2011 USGP. Njisane won the men match sprint and men keirin events. He also set the 200m track record by being the first rider to break the 10-second barrier at the Colorado Springs track.

    "Njisane is coming back from an injury that prevented him from competing at the 2012 World Championships," commented Trinidad coach, Desmond Dickie. "But we believe he will be close to top form by the time of the Grand Prix."

    The German team boasts the 2012 World Cup champions and world record holders in both men and women's team...