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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, July 26, 2012

Date published:
July 26, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Bobridge, Hepburn fined in drunk driving incident

    Article published:
    June 24, 2012, 21:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian pursuiters to be allowed in Olympic team

    Jack Bobridge and Michael Hepburn, two members of Australia's Olympic team pursuit squad, were cited in a incident of driving while intoxicated in Spain, but after the pair admitted to the charges to their federation, they will be allowed to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

    The pair were involved in an accident in a car park in Loret de Mar this week, and were found guilty of misconduct. Bobridge lost his driver's license for eight months and was fined by a Spanish court. Additionally, he was fined $2,500 by Cycling Australia and placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond, while Hepburn also received a 12-month good behaviour bond a $1,000 fine.

    After consulting with the Australian Olympic Committee, the federation decided the two could stay on the team for London because they admitted to their mistake.

    Coincidentally, Cycling Australia announced on Saturday a new national effort to discourage binge drinking in Australian sport. Cycling Australia CEO Graham Fredericks said his sport will take the lead in the initiative.

    "Almost all young people have ridden or do ride a bike and the growing popularity of our sport means more and more of them are being exposed to cycling either through competition, recreation or simply as a fan," said Mr. Fredericks. "We hope to play our role by engaging our cyclists, our clubs and our fans in the campaign to tackle binge drinking."

  • Pendleton set to quit cycling after 2012 Olympics

    Victoria Pendleton poses with her gold medal
    Article published:
    June 27, 2012, 19:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Says London is the perfect place to say goodbye

    British track star Victoria Pendleton has given the strongest indication yet that she will quit professional cycling after the London 2012 Olympic Games later this summer.

    Pendleton told BBC Sport that after a decade at the top she was craving a "normal" life and predicted that she would find it almost impossible to motivate herself for further cycling goals once her home Olympics have finished.

    Pendleton is easily the most recognisable face in British women's cycling. She won gold in the individual sprint at the 2008 Olympics and has won nine world championship titles - the most recent of which came in April at the 2012 Track World Championships in Melbourne, where she defeated her great rival, Australia's Anna Meares, along the way. On home soil in London she will be favourite to retain her Olympic title and will also be contesting the team sprint alongside Jess Varnish.

    "London feels the right place to say 'thank you very much'", Pendleton said. "No-one would begrudge me a normal life. I think I'll step away. I'd like to work in sport, but maybe not elite sport and cycling. I'm not ready to go back and stand track side.

    "I could carry on for another four years, but it would not be my first choice. I would not want to do something that would make me unhappy. My sister just had baby so I'm 'Auntie Vicky'. Things like that make me a little envious of her life. I'd like to do normal things and settle down - maybe have a family. I don't want to leave it too late."

  • Jimmy Watkins: husband, father, firefighter, Olympian

    Jimmy Watkins
    Article published:
    July 02, 2012, 15:31 BST
    Peter Hymas

    Full-time firefighter to represent US in match sprint in London

    With Colorado Springs, Colorado feeling the devastating effects of raging wildfires it would seem an apt locale for a firefighter skilled in battling wilderness blazes. For full-time firefighter Jimmy Watkins, however, the fires have forced the man representing the United States in the match sprint at the London Olympics to return to his native California to fine-tune his fitness in the month prior to the Games.

    Watkins had recently arrived in Colorado Springs to reap the benefits of a solid block of altitude training at the US Olympic Training Center's velodrome, but the open-air facility is anything but an ideal venue to prepare for his Olympic Games debut in light of the surrounding wildfires.

    Watkins had amassed enough time off from his fire department in Bakersfield, California, via vacation time accrual plus the utilisation of shift trading with his co-workers, to completely clear his calendar of work responsibilities through to the Olympic Games and the world-class track sprinter is determined to make the best of the precious allotment of time still at his disposal.

    "It's kind of screwed up our training with the smoke," Watkins told Cyclingnews. "The velodrome here is outdoors so the only plan we have now is to go back to L.A. [to the Home Depot Center Velodrome] and train there because here there's a good chance to pick up a respiratory infection [in Colorado Springs]."

    The 29-year-old's entire cycling career has taken place while employed as a full-time firefighter in Bakersfield, California. Watkins began cycling at 21 years old to build fitness for his demanding profession and soon found his way to the track.

    "The reason I started cycling was just to stay in shape and then I started racing a little bit on the road," said Watkins. "I found track cycling because I was always a sprinter growing up in the sports I played so I gravitated towards...

  • Hoy passed over for Kenny in Olympic men's sprint

    Jason Kenny (GBR) made a bold move in the second sprint final but was relegated giving the win to Gregory Bauge
    Article published:
    July 19, 2012, 23:02 BST
    Cycling News

    No repeat of 2008 triple gold medals for Briton

    The race schedule for Great Britain's Olympic track cycling team was announced today, and the biggest surprise in the roster is the absence of Sir Chris Hoy in the individual sprint. Jason Kenny has been selected for the event instead.

    Both riders together with Philip Hinds will compete in the team sprint, while Hoy will focus on the keirin as his sole individual event.

    Hoy won gold medals in all three men's sprint events in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, while Kenny claimed the silver medal in the sprint there. However, the rules were changed in between and only one rider from each country is allowed to contest the individual sprint.

    "Both Chris and Jason are on great form and that made it a difficult choice but we have decided to select Jason to contest the sprint and Chris will concentrate on the Keirin. We believe this gives us the strongest team possible going into the Games," said British Cycling Performance Director Dave Brailsford.

    Hoy gave his support to his younger compatriot despite his disappointment in not being able to attempt to repeat his sweep of the Beijing Games. "Jason thoroughly deserves this opportunity and has a great chance of success in the sprint. I'm now focussed entirely on the Keirin and Team Sprint and my goals for these two events haven't changed."

    Kenny will be up against Frenchman Gregory Baugé, who regained his status as world champion this year after being stripped of his 2011 title due to whereabouts violations. Kenny was given the 2011 sprint title following that ruling.

    Track cycling team of Great Britain

    Men's team sprint: Philip Hindes, Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, (reserve - Ross Edgar)
    Women's team sprint: Victoria Pendleton, Jess Varnish, (reserve - Becky James)
    Men's team pursuit: Steven Burke, Ed...

  • Win a Boardman Elite Series TK/20 track bike

    The Elite Series TK/20 celebrates 20th anniversary of Chris Boardman's success on the track at the Barcelona Olympics
    Article published:
    July 23, 2012, 12:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Limited edition bike celebrates 20th anniversary of Barcelona success

    It was only a matter of time before Boardman Bikes produced a bike which honoured Chris Boardman’s track heritage.

    That bike is finally here - and you could win one of just 92 being made. It's called the Elite Series TK/20 and will be available this summer 20 years after his win in the 4000m individual pursuit at the Barcelona Olympic Games.

    The TK/20 has a lightweight, triple butted alloy frame with track-specific geometry, full aero carbon fork, tapered steerer and stainless steel dropout plates. The design also allows brakes to be fitted, making it adaptable to the road.

    The frame is finished with gold decals and a metal head badge, with spec details including a Truvativ Omnium GXP chainset, Fizik Arione saddle and Boardman-branded cockpit components.

    "Success on the track in '92 was the springboard for my career as a pro rider,” said Chris Boardman, who serves as the Director of Research and Development at the company. “Every hour spent in the velodrome paid back ten fold when I started to ride for a ProTour team. Track cycling might be a specific beast but I wanted to create a bike that could, without compromise, also be used on the road, so brake compatibility has been designed in. It would certainly make a unique fast-fixie!"

    The TK/20 is available to pre-order now worldwide for a September delivery through dealers in the UK and distributors throughout the rest of the world. Visit Boardman Bikes website for more details.

    To be in with a chance of winning the bike, all you need to do is click here and register your details. The bike will be signed by Chris Boardman himself along with a special message should the winner want one.

  • Sir Chris Hoy selected to carry flag at Olympic Games opening ceremony

    Jason Kenny, Jamie Staff and Chris Hoy celebrate team sprint gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
    Article published:
    July 24, 2012, 5:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Believes life after Tour will be very different for his countryman Wiggins

    It won’t be the first time Sir Chris Hoy has carried the flag of Great Britain at the Olympic Games. Hoy was chosen to carry the flag for his nation at the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The decision to bear the flag at the completion of the last Games was heavily based around impressive tally of three gold medals (team sprint, keirin and sprint).

    This year however, Hoy will carry the flag as Great Britain is announced and led into the stadium during the opening ceremony. His selection was based around a vote by his fellow Olympians – all 542 of them.

    “To lead out your team at a home Olympics is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that I can't wait to experience in just a few days' time,” said Hoy.

    The announcement will hopefully ease the pain of not being able to defend his Olympic sprint title – a position that was passed onto his countryman Jason Kenny. Hoy will be present to defend his team sprint and keirin titles in his fourth Games.

    “To have Chris carry the flag on behalf of Great Britain is another milestone in the success of cycling in Britain,” said President of British Cycling, Brian Cookson.

    Hoy proud of what his former teammate has achieved

    Chris Hoy knows all about being put in the public spotlight and while his former track teammate is already big in the cycling world, he predicts that things will change dramatically since Bradley Wiggins’ Tour victory.

    “In the cycling world, he was already a superstar, he is accustomed to it much attention. I think the real change comes to him in Britain, as he walks down the street. His life will change drastically, but I'm sure Bradley...

  • Australians warned: it’s not only about beating Great Britain

    The Australian team pursuit team down the back straight.
    Article published:
    July 25, 2012, 2:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Germany seen as a threat by Tabotta

    Cycling Australia's National Performance Director Kevin Tabotta has told his athletes that getting swept up by the Australia versus Great Britain rivalry that infiltrates any sporting battle between the teams could be detrimental.

    With Matt Goss and Simon Gerrans chasing down Mark Cavendish in the men's road race; Amanda Spratt and Chloe Hosking doing their best to deny Nicole Cooke a repeat gold medal in the women"s road race; along with the fierce battles in the velodrome the arm-wrestle against two genuine powerhouses of world cycling is sure to be a highlight of the London Olympic Games.

    Tabotta told the Herald Sun that Great Britain has "some extraordinary athletes" at their disposal over the next fortnight.

    "There are no surprises that they will come out swinging in London with the best they have got," he said. "The key is for [us] to come out with our best and whatever that returns at the end of the day, that is what we can do.

    "But if we concentrate on one team we are not concentrating on our own job, and some nations like Germany will be very competitive as you saw at the worlds.

    "The Olympic Games will provide a level of intensity that a world championships doesn't."

    Australia topped the medal tally at the end of the UCI Track World Championships in April with a total of 15 medals to Great Britain's runner-up performance with 13. Both teams secured a championship-best of six gold medals. Tabotta said that while he was impressed with Australia's performance, it was merely a stepping stone to August 2 when the track cycling program begins.

    "Now we are in Europe and there are a lot of factors that come into play," he explained. "We don't think about the worlds as being our god-given right to London, we have to go in and...

  • Salzwedel says RusVelo can earn a medal in men's team pursuit

    The Russians looked strong to ride into medal contention
    Article published:
    July 26, 2012, 6:22 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Squad has bounced back after world championships

    While much of the pre-Olympic build-up for the men's team pursuit has been on the battle between Great Britain and Australia, RusVelo has been doing the hard yards at the Tour of Qinghai Lake and General Manager Heiko Salzwedel is confident his team is on track for medal contention.

    Qualifying for the event gets underway on the afternoon of August 2 with the medals decided just over 24 hours later. Following their month-long stint in China, RusVelo's final preparation for London Games is taking place in Buettgen, Germany where Salzwedel revealed the team will be provided with a constant reminder of the competition.

    "The many pictures of the Australian team in the Russian team's hotel are pretty stimulating," he told Cyclingnews.

    RusVelo ranked second behind Australia in the UCI's Olympic rankings at the end of the 2011-2012 track season. The team won two World Cup rounds (Astana and Beijing) and on both occasions, was the only team in the finals to go under the four-minute mark. When it came to the World Championships in April in Melbourne, RusVelo came unstuck when Ivan Kovalev was a victim of a hit-and-run in Sydney while in a training camp pre-event. RusVelo, with Artur Ershov in for the injured Ivan Kovalev, Evgeny Kovalev, Alexey Markov and Alexander Serov, would race against New Zealand in the bronze medal round, fading in the final 750 metres and falling short of the podium.

    "They faded...