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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, November 21, 2011

Date published:
November 21, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Simes unveils plans for Six Day racing's return to NYC

    Artist's rendition of the velodrome to be constructed in the Kingsbridge Armory for the New York 6 Day
    Article published:
    November 09, 2011, 14:47 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    Test event planned for Kingsbridge Armory in May, 2012

    Jack Simes, the CEO of the National Cycling Association, recently unveiled his organisation's plans to bring Six Day racing back to its place of origin - New York City. Simes, a world championship silver medalist on the track and a veteran of European Six Day racing in the early 1970s, has tentatively scheduled the New York 6 Day for May 17-22 within the Bronx's Kingsbridge Armory.

    "The short term plan is to do two things," Simes told Cyclingnews. "Number one, to bring Six Day bike racing back to New York City where it was invented and to begin creating this whole new style of American cycling that is unknown here but works really well with television, sponsorship, hospitality and excitement.

    "But there's more than just the high-profile event here because I'm also very attuned to youth cycling. We want to enhance the foundation that's there in New York City for kids and perhaps even create some new ones. I'm looking at putting the track up for a two-month period in which time the Six Day takes place for one week and the rest of the time will be used for introducing youth to cycling and doing all types of racing at various levels: local, regional, masters, collegiate - just the total concept of programs to show New York City what this can be."

    Simes has enlisted renowned velodrome architect Ralph Schuermann, designer of more than 100 velodromes world-wide including the 2008 Olympic velodrome in Beijing, to design the track. The proposed venue is a fitting locale as Kingsbridge Armory has a history in Six Day racing, having hosted races in the late 1940s as the sport tried to re-establish itself stateside following World War II, but of late the building has been vacant and a point of contention.

    "The Kingsbridge Armory has been a political football in New York City for the past 10 years," said Simes. "New York City had plans to turn it into a mall. That went along for...

  • Meares cleans up AIS awards

    Anna Meares (Australia) won silver in the sprint competition.
    Article published:
    November 11, 2011, 0:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australian track star also joins Institute's hall of fame

    Anna Meares has taken the top gong in the annual Australian Institute of Sport awards with the triple track world champion crowned Athlete of the Year in a ceremony in Canberra overnight.

    "To have an athlete of the stature of Anna winning this award highlights the importance of the AIS and all our institutes and academies working with national sporting organisations to develop our elite talent," sports minister Mark Arbib said.

    "This is a credit to the AIS cycling program for their drive and commitment working in partnership with Cycling Australia to enable athletes to succeed in reaching their goals."

    Meares was one of a number of cyclists awarded, with Luke Durbridge taking out junior athlete of the year for his under 23 world championship, and Kaarle McCulloch joining Meares for best team performance.

    The awards come just a week after Meares was also officially inducted into the Australian Institute of Sport's hall of fame. The 28-year-old becomes only the third cyclist to become a part of the "Best of the Best" list, after previous inductees Shane Kelly and Stuart O'Grady.

  • New US velodrome to host omnium championships

    The women's omnium podium.
    Article published:
    November 15, 2011, 23:20 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Rock Hill venue chosen for stand-alone nationals in 2012, 2013

    USA Cycling announced today that the country's newest track cycling venue, the Giordana Velodrome in Rock Hill, South Carolina has been chosen to host its 2012 and 2013 International Omnium Track National Championship.

    Since its introduction to the track cycling Olympic program, the omnium has been part of USA Cycling's elite national track championships. However, following the Olympic Games in London, track riders will have an opportunity to compete in the new stand-alone omnium championships on August 17-18, 2012.

    The races will take place on the 250-meter and 42-degree banked velodrome currently being built in Rock Hill. The facility, designed by the German architect Ralph Schuermann, is slated to open early next year.

    "We are proud to have been selected to host the 2012 and 2013 USA Cycling International Omnium Track National Championships in our new Giordana Velodrome," stated City of Rock Hill City Manager David B. Vehaun. "Choosing the Giordana Velodrome indicates a significant level of confidence in the facility and all the partners involved."

    The Giordana Velodrome is one of the first projects of the Rock Hill Outdoor Center, a 250 acre park that will also include trails for mountain biking and road riding, a BMX facility and cyclo-cross course.

    Thad Fischer, director of the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium, has been chosen as the cycling coordinator for the Rock Hill Outdoor Center, and said that while the opening date of the velodrome has not yet been set, "it will be very early spring for certain".

    The facility is looking to host another major race in May, but details of the event have not yet been confirmed.

    In making the announcement, USA Cycling added that it has dropped the Tandem Track National Championships from its list of official championships due to costs and low participation rates.

  • Mørkøv debating track riding without partner Rasmussen

    Alex Rasmussen and Michael Morkov claimed another overall victory in Copenhagen
    Article published:
    November 16, 2011, 11:24 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dane may cut back riding if Rasmussen is suspended

    Michael  Mørkøv will reduce his track riding if his riding partner Alex Rasmussen is suspended on doping-related charges.  He is still looking to the Olympics, if not in 2012, then in 2016.

    “Yes I will” cut down, he told, although he will consider the possibility of an alternative partner.

    He and Rasmussen have “had some fantastic years together and it is not something you just throw away,” Mørkøv said. 

    “I can't hide the fact that Alex is the one I prefer to ride with when it comes to Six Days and track racing.  If track cycling is on the Olympic programme in 2016, then that becomes our next goal. We have talked about this.”

    Rasmussen has been temporarily suspended for missing three doping controls due to problems with his whereabouts.  He faces up to a two-year ban, but is hoping for a ban of 10 months, which would allow him to ride in the 2012 London Olympics.  His hearing before the Danish Sports Federation is scheduled for Thursday, November 17.

  • Video: Olympic cycling bootcamp underway for Geraint Thomas

    Geraint Thomas talks to the press
    Article published:
    November 16, 2011, 15:32 GMT
    Cycling News

    Welsh star speaks to CN about re-adjusting to the track and Team Sky

    After only allowing himself a very short holiday period, British Olympic gold medallist Geraint Thomas is already in training for next year's London 2012 Games. Cyclingnews caught up with the the Welshman at the Champions of Cyclesport Charity Dinner in London last week, where he was acting as cycling ambassador for Action Medical Research.

    Thomas told Mark Robinson that he is delighted by the news that Mark Cavendish will be joining him at Team Sky next season, and also touched on the difficulties of switching his energies and focus from road to track.


  • Rasmussen on course for London 2012 Olympics

    Denmark's Alex Rasmussen looks pretty pleased with the evening's progress
    Article published:
    November 18, 2011, 18:06 GMT
    Cycling News

    Danish Cycling Union confirm he is in the frame after being cleared of whereabouts violation

    Having had 24 hours to digest the Danish Olympic Committe's (DIF) decision not to sanction Alex Rasmussen for missing three out of competition doping controls, the Danish Cycling Union (DCU) has confirmed that the 27-year-old is on its radar for selection to the London 2012 Olympics.

    Rasmussen was part of Denmark's silver medal pursuit team at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as well as its 2009 world championship pursuit team. He has additional world titles in the scratch race (2005, 2010) and Madision (2009).

    The charges against Rasmussen were not enforced because the UCI contravened its own rule that stipulates that riders should be informed of a violation within 14 days - Rasmussen was not officially told for 10 weeks. The technicality means that he avoids a lengthy ban and will be eligible for a place on the Danish team at next summer's Games.

    Rasmussen blamed the various whereabouts issues on "stupid mistakes" and was ready to accept a ban in the case until it was dismissed. He has been freed to join the Garmin-Cervelo team, with whom he signed a contract prior to being notified of the third violation, and to pursue his Olympic dreams with the Danish national team.

    "Myself and [Danish coach] Lars Bonde will have a meeting with Alex in due course," said DCU Director Jesper Worre. "We will look towards planning for the 2012 Olympics, where Alex is in the frame for one of the spots on the 4,000 metre [pursuit] team. We'll meet and discuss a possible programme towards London 2012 and also ensure that Alex understands that his whereabouts reporting is always up to date." 

    DCU President Tom Lund stated that despite his delight at the hearing's outcome, Rasmussen will be under the spotlight.

    "We received the decison with surprise as we...

  • New Zealand sets the standard at Oceania Track Championships

    Sam Bewley & Jesse Sergent were on New Zealand's medal-winning Olympic Games team
    Article published:
    November 21, 2011, 3:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    Women's team pursuit, men's team sprint national records tumble in qualifying

    It proved a record morning for New Zealand cyclists on the first day of the UCI Oceania Track Championships in Invercargill today.

    The women's team pursuit and men's team sprint both set national records, while the men's team pursuit and women's sprint went within a touch of records in the qualifying session at the ILT Velodrome.

    The trio of Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Simon van Velthooven set the fastest ever time for a New Zealand team sprint combination. They topped qualifiers in 44.074 which broke the national residents' record as well as eclipsing their previous best time of 44.118s set at the World Cup in Cali, Colombia last year.

    They take on Australia's Dan Ellis, Jason Niblett and Peter Lewis in the gold medal ride tonight.

    The combination of Alison Shanks, Lauren Ellis and Jaime Nielsen produced an emphatic morning ride to set a New Zealand resident record in qualifying in the women's 3000m team pursuit. They clocked 3:23.452 which was more than three seconds inside the previous best set at the same meeting two years ago in Invercargill. They were two seconds faster than the Australian combination of two-time Olympian Kate Bates, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Amy Cure who clocked 3:25.666.

    The BikeNZ quartet of Marc Ryan, Sam Bewley, Aaron Gate and Jesse Sergent went under the four minute mark to top qualifiers in the men's 4000m team pursuit.

    They clocked 3:59.568, one of a handful of occasions they have gone under four minutes in a morning qualifying ride, and only a second outside the New Zealand record.

    The second BikeNZ combination of Wes Gough, Myron Simpson, Peter Latham and Cam Karwowski were second fastest in 4:05.257 ahead of the Australians (Scott Law, Jackson Law, Edward Bissaker, Peter Loft) in 4:10.891. However under Oceania rules, the final is contested by the fastest qualifier from each nation.

  • GB Women's cycling squad announced for Track World Cup

    Women's omnium podium (l-r): Dani King (Great Britain), Evgeniya Romanyuta (RusVelo), Li Huang (China)
    Article published:
    November 21, 2011, 13:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    Trio of riders aiming for medal success in Colombia next month

    British Cycling has today announced the names of the three female riders who will represent Great Britain in round two of the 2011/12 UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Cali, taking place from 1-3 December 2011.

    Wendy Houvenaghel, Sarah Storey and Laura Trott will travel to Colombia for the second round of the World Cup series. GB's World Cup campaign began earlier this month in Kazakhstan, in which Sir Chris Hoy won gold in the sprint and silver in the keirin. Rising star Dani King (pictured) also won silver, in the women's omnium.

    The UCI Track Cycling World Cup will move on to Beijing for round three at the end of January, before concluding with round four in London the following month.