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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, June 23, 2012

Date published:
June 23, 2012, 19:00
  • German track sprint team for Olympics named

    Max Levy, rene Enders and Stefan Nimke were awarded the team sprint world title after Frenchman Gregory Bauge was stripped of his results over whereabouts violations
    Article published:
    May 7, 2012, 10:04
    Cycling News

    Enders, Levy and Nimke going for Gold in Men's competition

    The German cycling federation BDR has announced its selection for the track team sprint event at the London 2012 Olympics this summer. It will be the same line-up as four years ago in Beijing, when Germany won the bronze medal with René Enders, Maximilian Levy and Stefan Nimke. Robert Förstemann has been appointed as reserve.

    "The team sprint is our first priority," said federal trainer Detlev Uibel, who is determined to make his team score another medal - preferably gold - at this year's Olympics.

    The decision of who was going to be reserve was not easy. "On our team, the fourth man is better than 80 percent of all the participants," said Levy, but Uibel explained his choice was made for tactical reasons.

    The first and third position in the three-lap sprint were evident, with Enders being "the best in the world" as a lead-out man and Nimke, four-time kilometer world champion, the one who has the most power going into the final lap. "My question was, how am I going to optimize the second position. If you want to win in London, you have to ride a world record," said Uibel. He opted for Levy because he scored the best time in that position at the Astana World Cup last year.

    On the women's side, the team sprint selection did not generate any discussion: Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel will try to repeat the world record feat from the Cali World Cup at the Olympic Games in London.

  • UCI's World Cycling Centre celebrates 10th anniversary

    UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland
    Article published:
    May 21, 2012, 11:25
    Cycling News

    Positive outcome for Swiss training centre

    The UCI's World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Aigle, Switzerland, celebrates its 10th anniversary today. Since opening its doors in 2002, the WCC has become internationally recognised, receiving the label "Olympic Training Centre" from the International Olympic Committee.

    The WCC, which includes a 200m cycling track and an Olympic BMX track, has so far welcomed some 571 athletes from 118 different countries under the guidance of the WCC's professional coaches. With two Olympic titles and 32 World Championships titles, these trainees have made their mark on the cycling world.

    In addition to the athletes who train and compete in WCC colours, the World Cycling Centre makes its facilities available to National Federations and individual athletes preparing major international competitions. More than 1,000 training camps of this kind have been staged since 2002.

    Members of the general public are also welcome at the WCC, and experts are on hand to initiate them in the intricacies of the different disciplines. Each winter, 200 people take out a season pass to train on the centre's indoor track.

    On top of rider training, coaches, sports directors and riders' agents regularly attend courses and sit exams to professionalise their activities. This education programme is being expanded in 2012 with practical training for commissaires, regulators, Radio Tour announcers, information motorbike officials and drivers during the Tour de l'Avenir, the final round of the UCI U23 Nations' Cup.

  • Marvulli, Van Bon headline Fixed Gear Classic

    Franco Marvulli is a four-time winner at the 6 Giorni delle Rose.
    Article published:
    June 7, 2012, 17:43
    Cycling News

    Nature Valley Bicycle Festival begins tonight

    The three-day Fixed Gear Classic kicks off the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival tonight, with Olympic medalists Franco Marvulli and Leon Van Bon starring on the Blaine, Minnesota velodrome.

    Marvulli, silver medalist in the 2004 Olympic Madison in Athens, and Van Bon, who earned the silver medal in the 1992 Olympic points race in Barcelona, will compete against 40 other world class racers this weekend. The event incorporates more than 100 sprint, endurance and timed events.

    "Besides the sprint and endurance omniums, we've got some exciting new events this year," said Jason Lardy, Marketing Director for the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival, "for example, on the third day of the event, we'll run a Madison kilometer time trial, which will carry its own prizes."

    In addition to Marvulli, a former world champion in the Madison and Scratch Race, and Van Bon, winner of stages in the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, the field will also include Canadian points race champion Jean-Michel Lachance, Trinidad & Tobago champion Emile Abraham and multi-time US champion Cari Higgins.

    "We'll again feature a unique dual omnium program that showcases separate competitions for sprinters and endurance riders," Lardy said. "That means crossover races will bring sprinters and endurance riders together to try to win omnium points or at least take them away from their competitors."

    The National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota, will host live streaming video the Fixed Gear Classic. Racing begins at 6:30 CDT (UTC -5) on Thursday, June 7, 2012 and Friday, June 8, 2012. Racing begins at noon Saturday, June 9, 2012.

  • Video: Sir Chris Hoy on Olympic selection

    Chris Hoy modelling the Team GB cycling kit for the London 2012 Olympics
    Article published:
    June 14, 2012, 10:09
    Mark Robinson

    British track star discusses sprint berth and Millar

    Four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy has stated that he is unconcerned about having to wait to find out whether he will be given the opportunity to defend his individual sprint title at the London 2012 Olympics in August, despite saying that he might not know the decision until 48 hours before the race.

    Hoy is vying with Jason Kenny for the sole spot for that discipline and the younger man has strong claims to edge out the veteran Scotsman, having defeated him in the semi-finals of the Track World Championships in Melbourne in April.

    Speaking at a press conference at the Manchester Velodrome, where Britain’s track team for the Games was formally announced, Hoy said that he was simply focussing on his training.

    “In some ways not knowing is tough but training has to be the main focus,” he said.

    “Whether it’s me or Jason Kenny – either of us will do a great job. It isn’t weighing on my mind as you have to stay focussed on the here and now. It might not be until 48 hours before the race that we find out, but I would think we might know a bit sooner. But ultimately it’s about the overall medal count for the team, not individual glory.”

    Hoy had earlier been described by British Cycling Performance Director David Brailsford as “the living epitome of all Olympic ideals”, and having been outspoken against the inclusion of former doping offenders in the British team it was only a matter of time before he was asked about the inclusion on the road team long list of David Millar.

    “I’m comfortable with his selection because he is eligible,” Hoy said. “My stance has always been more about the future of drugs in sport and safeguarding against it. What we don’t want is an athlete preparing for Rio and thinking “is it worth it?” So it’s about the future, not about individuals at this Games and the past.”

    Hoy was also asked whether at any time in the last four years he doubted his ability to qualify for another Olympics at the age of 36.

    “It’s been highs and lows,” he said. “Any question as to whether you can do it inspires you to new challenges. I’ve never thought I couldn’t do it. I’m excited by the prospect. I think it’s the strongest squad we’ve ever had.”

    Great Britain Track Squad for London 2012 Olympics (Sprint):

    Philip Hindes
    Chris Hoy
    Jason Kenny
    Victoria Pendleton
    Jessica Varnish

    Great Britain Track Squad for London 2012 Olympics (Endurance):

    Steven Burke
    Edward Clancy
    Wendy Houvenaghel
    Peter Kennaugh
    Danielle King
    Joanna Roswell
    Andrew Tennant
    Geraint Thomas
    Laura Trott


  • Video: Geraint Thomas confirms he'll quit the track after London 2012

    Sky's Geraint Thomas
    Article published:
    June 15, 2012, 09:40
    Mark Robinson

    Team GB rider to focus solely on the road for at least two years

    Cyclingnews caught up with Team GB's Geraint Thomas at the Manchester Velodrome earlier this week, where he was part of the press conference staged to reveal the Great Britain cycling squad for the London 2012 Olympics.

    Thomas will be part of the British team that will defend its team pursuit title and revealed that he has no qualms about missing this year's Tour de France in order to focus on that goal. He discussed his preparations and also revealed that after the Games he will not be appearing competitively on the track for at least two years, possibly indefinitely, as he switches his attentions to his blossoming career on the road with Team Sky.

    Find out exactly what he had to say by watching our exclusive video.

  • Whitten and Bell highlight Canadian Olympic track team

    Tara Whitten of TIBCO-To the Top defined the early race with a solo attack that held for half of the race
    Article published:
    June 16, 2012, 21:23
    Cycling News

    Seven athletes selected to head to London

    Cycling Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Olympic Committee, announced the seven track cycling nominees to the Canadian Olympic team for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

    Canada qualified for an all-time high six events at the 2012 Olympic Games this upcoming summer: men's omnium, women's omnium, women's team pursuit, women's sprint, women's keirin and men's keirin.

    The team will be coached by Richard Wooles, who has re-engineered the track cycling program since joining Cycling Canada a few months before the 2008 Games, turning the program into a world-class, medal-winning environment. Canadian cycling star Tanya Dubnicoff, who has four top-10 finishes at Olympic Games, will be leading the women's team pursuit squad at the Games.

    "I am proud to welcome these new members of the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team. Their hard work and dedication will inspire Canadians when they hit the track in London," said Mark Tewksbury, the Canadian Olympic Team Chef de Mission.

    Marcel Aubut, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee, was also proud of the nominees. "Congratulations on being nominated to the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team. I know the athletes will give their everything when they represent Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games."

    Canada's track stars Tara Whitten and Zach Bell will both be racing the omnium events. The two athletes have had astonishing success since the introduction of the event at the World Cup level.

    "I think it was 18 years ago that I first gave a voice to my dream of going to the Olympics. I can remember where I was sitting and how it felt to say those words out loud," said Whitten. "Today is the culmination of a long and very rewarding journey. Tomorrow I will go back to my job of working towards winning the whole darn thing, but today I will take the time to really appreciate the significance of achieving this lifelong dream of representing Canada at an Olympic Games!"

    Whitten has excelled in the women omnium, winning back-to-back UCI World Championships and UCI World Cup titles in 2010 and 2011. On the UCI World Cup tour, Whitten is a force to be reckoned with in every race of the six-race omnium event, a visible target as she wore the coveted rainbow jersey.

    Bell will represent Canada in the men omnium. Bell has twice won silver medals at track cycling world championships, most recently at the 2012 world championships. Bell, who rides for Team SpiderTech powered by C10 in road events, is excited for the opportunity to race for Canada.

    In the women team pursuit, Canada will bring to the start line Tara Whitten as the captain, joined by Jasmin Glaesser and Gillian Carleton. The trio has been highly successful, winning the bronze medal at the last UCI World Championships. At the UCI World Cup race in London, which served as the Olympic test event, the Canadian squad twice lowered the Canadian record on the same day in their first two races as a team, winning the silver medal. Laura Brown of Vancouver, BC will serve as the alternate. Brown was part of the gold medal team that rode at the 2011 Pan-American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, last fall.

    Both Glaesser and Carleton are aspiring athletes hailing from British Columbia, both in their rookie season with the Canadian Track Cycling Team. Together with Whitten, the team enjoyed success since teamed up, and will be looking for more continued success in London.

    "I am thrilled to have been nominated to the team. It's a huge honour to be a part of such a phenomenal group of athletes who have been an inspiration with the success they've achieved over the last few years, and the focus which they bring toward replicating that level of excellence this summer," said Glaesser, who received her Canadian citizenship days before the Pan-American Games last October. "We are also fortunate to have extraordinary support from the staff, family, and friends, whose dedication and commitment is equal to our own, and who will continue to fuel our momentum through the work that lies ahead. With that in mind I think my teammates and I are ready to take on the world's best in London, and prove ourselves to be a fighting force to be reckoned with!"

    For Carleton, who suffered from a broken pelvis in her career first World Cup in Kazakhstan last fall and was bed-ridden for six weeks just six months ago, this nomination is the start of a promising international cycling career.

    "I'm very excited to be selected to the Canadian Track Cycling Team to race at the Olympics! Our women's team pursuit program continues to improve every day, and I can't wait to see the kind of rides we'll produce in London. I'm also very proud to be representing my country at such an exciting time, with Canadian cyclists dominating international competition in road and mountain bike as well, and I'm confident that cycling will contribute greatly to Canada's medal count this summer," said Carleton.

    Laura Brown said, "I am both honoured and relieved to hear that I have been nominated to the Canadian Olympic Team. I have been involved with the Canadian Women's Team Pursuit since its inception in 2009, where we won our first World Cup gold medal. The team has come a long way since then in terms of its depth and capacity. Our Olympic trials were very competitive as we are now one of the best teams in the world. Competing at the Olympic Games has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. I feel overjoyed to see my hard work and dedication come to fruition now and in August, when we will compete for an Olympic medal."

    Calgary's Monique Sullivan will be racing for Canada in the women's sprint and keirin events. Sullivan, has been steadily progressing over the recent past to become a regular contender on the UCI World Cup tour. This spring, Sullivan won both the sprint and keirin titles at the UCI Pan-American Championships.

    "I feel very grateful today. I put in my best every day for this opportunity and I had an enormous amount of support from the team, my family, and PCL Construction Leaders: I would not be here today without them. I am very proud to have the opportunity to represent them this summer at the Olympics," said Sullivan.

    "The qualification process was very long and stressful, every race was incredibly important, but looking back now I realize how much the process helped me grow and learn and I am not the same rider I was when it began. I am very happy to be part of this team and I can't wait to see what we can do!."

    In the men's keirin, Joseph Veloce will represent Canada. He graduated in recent days with a degree in electrical engineering from McMaster University. These 2012 Olympic Games, the pinnacle of sports, will be Veloce's first major Games experience. "I am very excited to be given the opportunity to represent Canada at the 2012 Olympics. It's taken a lot of hard work and commitment, but it has all been worth it to reach this point. I look forward to the challenge of making my country proud."

    The omnium races for both the men and the women, as well as for the women team pursuit, will be showcased for the first time at Olympic Games.

    Of the seven nominees, only Bell has previous Olympic experience. Bell competed for Canada at the 2008 Games in Beijing in the points and Madison races. In the points race, he finished a respective seventh place.

    The last time a Canadian won an Olympic medal in track cycling was Lori-Ann Muenzer, who won the gold medal in the women's sprint event in 2004. In track cycling, Curt Harnett is the most decorated Olympian of all time, with three Olympic medals [1984, Silver; 1992, Bronze, 1996, Bronze].

    2012 Canadian Olympic Track Cycling Team
    Zach Bell (Men Omnium)
    Laura Brown (Alternate, Women Team Pursuit)
    Gillian Carleton (Women Team Pursuit)
    Jasmin Glaesser (Women Team Pursuit)
    Monique Sullivan (Women Sprint and Keirin)
    Joseph Veloce (Men Keirin)
    Tara Whitten (Women Omnium and Team Pursuit)

  • New Zealand Olympic track team assemble in Switzerland

    The men's team pursuit combination (from left) Jesse Sergent, Marc Ryan, Sam Bewley and Aaron Gate.
    Article published:
    June 23, 2012, 03:39
    Cycling News

    UCI World Cycling Centre ideal for pursuit sqaud

    Members of the New Zealand Olympic track team have just completed a week-long training camp, honing their form at the UCI's World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland. It was the first opportunity this year for the eight-rider pursuit team, including reserves and four from the Beijing Olympic squad, Sam Bewley, Westley Gough, Marc Ryan and Jesse Sergent to train together.

    The WCC's location was ideal for the group who has trained at the Swiss velodrome in the past. It was a central location for ProTour riders, Sam Bewley (Orica-GreenEdge) and Jesse Sergent (RadioShack-Nissan) to join the national team. Former world cup omnium winner Shane Archbold also joined the team for the week of intense training.

    Bewley and Sergent were part of the 2008 Olympic team however their fellow ProTour countryman Hayden Roulston (RadioShack-Nissan) will not be part of the track team. Roulston made the difficult decision at the end of last year to step away from the track and focus purely on the road. It was a tough decision for Roulston who won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics for the individual pursuit.

    While the final composition of the pursuit team is yet to be finalised, the national coach Tim Carswell told the UCI that he was "confident" his team can achieve "at least a similar result" to their team pursuit bronze medal achieved at this year's UCI Track World Championships held in Melbourne. The New Zealand pursuit team denied Australia a medal in the Beijing Olympics when they won the bronze-medal round. Carswell was happy with how the week played out.

    "That was a good week, the riders are in good shape and we had no crashes and no illness. We were not worrying about our times, we did specific training and made sure the riders had everything they need for the final period" he said.

    The team will complete their final preparations for the Olympics in Bordeaux, France closer to the Games’ start on 27 July.



  • Welte sets 200 meter world record in Colorado Springs

    Kristina Vogel and Miriam Welte on the podium.
    Article published:
    June 23, 2012, 17:19
    Cycling News

    Welte and Voigt with new track record for team sprint

    Miriam Welte set a new word record in the flying 200 at the US Sprint Grand Prix in Colorado Springs on Friday. She covered the distance in only 10.64 seconds in qualifications, with German teammate Kristina Vogel second at 10:78.

    The record will not be official until ratified by the UCI.

    The duo also took the team sprint, setting a new track record of 43.680.

    “We have trained very hard in the last three weeks and this competition is a good end to our preparations,” said trainer Detlet Uibel. “The time over the 200m is fantastic!”

    Welte and Vogel have already been named to the German track team for the 2012 London Olympics.