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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 6, 2013

Date published:
June 06, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Omnium champion O'Shea on track for Minsk worlds

    Australia's Glenn O'Shea in his world champions jersey in the flying lap in the men's Omnium
    Article published:
    February 14, 2013, 5:40 GMT
    Alex Malone

    Road season next on agenda with An Post - ChainReaction

    Reigning world omnium champion Glenn O'Shea has already tasted success this year at the recent Australian national championships in the 1km time trial and team pursuit and says getting a few wins on the board are perfect for lifting the confidence within his Australian Cyclones National Team heading into the UCI Track World Championships in Minsk, Belarus.

    It's been a busy few months for O'Shea with track commitments dominating his time since late last year, contesting the Glasgow World Cup before partnering-up with Omega Pharma - Quick-Step's Iljo Keisse for his first Six-Day win in Gent.

    "To get a few good results under the belt coming into worlds, it gives you a bit of confidence," O'Shea told Cyclingnews after taking home two more national track titles.

    "We have had a pretty heavy work load, now we'll just freshen up a little bit and be ready to go."

    Now, with the Australian titles behind him it's all about retaining his omnium world champion status and seeking to go one better from 2012 in the team pursuit - which will require knocking Team GB off the top spot. O'Shea admitted it will be a difficult task to overhaul the Great British team this year but also pointed to Russia and Denmark to post a serious challenge.

    "Our whole team is different from last year - I'm the only one left from the worlds team," explained O'Shea while also adding the final four-man selection had yet to be made.

    "If you look at Great Britain, they've got three guys who rode worlds last year so I think Great Britain will be the team to beat. They will be the benchmark.

    "We are going there with the...

  • Hammer wins fifth individual pursuit world championship

    Women's individual pursuit world championship podium (L-R): Amy Cure, silver; Sarah Hammer, gold; Annette Edmondson, bronze
    Article published:
    February 21, 2013, 18:47 GMT
    Cycling News

    Scratch race, omnium still to come for American at Track Worlds

    Sarah Hammer (USA) qualified fastest yesterday in the women's 3000m individual pursuit at the UCI Track World Championships in Minsk, Belarus and then later in the day powered to the world championship against Australia's Amy Cure. For Hammer, the sole American competing in Minsk, the pursuit world title was the fifth of her career having earned rainbow stripes previously in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011.

    Hammer, the 3000m pursuit world record holder, qualified more than three seconds faster than Cure with a time of 3:30.206, then put eight seconds into the 20-year-old Australian in the gold medal final, 3;32.050 to 3:40.685.

    "It's special every time," Hammer said. "The rainbow stripes are something I love to have for the year and it's what I was thinking about lining up on the start line.

    "Qualifying went well, but for the final anything can happen. I have the experience of many world championships so I know that it doesn't always feel great but just get on with it."

    "Cure put up a good fight, jumping out to a lead of nearly one second in the first kilometer, but Sarah stuck to the plan and chipped away at Cure's lead for the next four laps," said Benjamin Sharp, USA Cycling's high performance director of endurance programs. "Sarah made large gains in the final four laps, enjoying the advantage of getting close enough to see her opponent in the same stretch."

    With one world championship already earned in Minsk, Hammer will have two additional opportunities to win rainbow jerseys: the 10km scratch race on Friday followed by the omnium, which takes place over six events on Saturday and Sunday.

    Hammer won the silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics for the omnium, and started 2013 by winning the omnium at the final UCI Track World Cup round at...

  • De Ketele's crash cruels Belgian's chance to defend madison title

    Kenny de Ketele (Belgium) takes a tumble during the madison
    Article published:
    February 25, 2013, 5:14 GMT
    Cycling News

    Van Hoecke says "we were not good enough"

    The Belgian pairing of Kenny De Ketele and Gijs Van Hoecke were unsuccessful in their attempt to defend their 2012 World Madison crown at the 2013 UCI Track World Championships in Minsk. While they eventually finished in eighth place, De Ketele was lucky to escape serious injury, somersaulting over his handlebars a little over 12 minutes into the 200-lap event.

    It was the French pairing of Vivien Brisse and Morgan Kneisky who triumphed, with three sprint wins aiding them to a three-point win over Spaniards David Muntaner Juaneda and Albert Torres Barcelo.

    Van Hoecke was not using the incident as an excuse for the loss however, saying on twitter: "The rainbow jersey is not ours anymore. Too bad, but we were not good enough.

    "But we still had a great year," he continued.

    De Ketele came unstuck when a Kazakhstan rider moving up the track ahead of him clipped his front wheel on the back straight. The 27-year-old was left reeling on the edge of the track, with a considerable hole in the back of his knicks.

    He later tweeted an image of the crash, with his legs at 90 degrees the wrong way to the track, explaining that: "At this point I realised I was not going to make it without crashing."

    De Ketele and Van Hoecke went on to take minor points in two sprints, but it was not enough to take it to the three-pronged attack from France, Spain and Germany in the second half of the race.


  • Rousseau steps down as French track coach

    Kilometre time trial world championship podium (L-R): Simon Van Velthooven (New Zealand), 2nd; Francois Pervis (France), 1st; Joachim Eilers (Germany), 3rd
    Article published:
    February 25, 2013, 20:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Poor performances in London a symptom of larger crisis

    The crisis in the French track cycling programme came to a head on Monday when the head sprint coach Florian Rousseau announced that he is quitting his post.

    The French sprinters were mystified after the London Olympic Games as to how they fell so far short of beating the British in the team sprint and individual sprint. The federation’s technical director Isabelle Gautheron stepped down in October following the gold medal drought, and now Rousseau has decided to leave.

    “I asked myself before the Olympics and throughout the winter, what I can bring as national coach,” Rousseau told L’Equipe. “I feel I have reached my limit with respect to our organization, in the function offered by the French Federation.”

    Rousseau cited a gap between the federation and the sporting side of the cycling disciplines. He said he had hoped in 2011 that there could be a reorganization, but he decried the lack of consultation between the two sides.

    France still leads the all-time medal table in the track world championships, but Great Britain, in second, has been closing fast in recent years. The French may have won two gold medals at the recently concluded track world championships in Minsk, Belarus – one in the kilometer time trial through François Pervis and one in the Madison thanks to Vivien Bresse and Morgan Kneisky - but have not enjoyed the kind of dominance in the sprint which they have had in the past.

    Riders have complained that in comparison with the British, they lack support in the types of marginal gains in which the British have excelled – mental preparation, nutrition, technology, and recovery.

    Fabrice Vettoretti, the French National BMX coach, expressed concern that another Olympiad cycle is starting and the...

  • Great Britain tops medal count at track Worlds

    Great Britain's Rebecca James smiles on the podium following her keirin victory
    Article published:
    February 25, 2013, 22:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    Nine medals, including five world titles, in Minsk

    The 2013 UCI Track World Championships in Minsk, Belarus signaled the start of the next four-year Olympiad cycle with Great Britain once again showing its strength on the boards. The track powerhouse earned the most medals over the five days of racing: nine in total from the men's and women's teams, including five world titles. Germany and Australia each earned eight medals with Germany taking three gold, three silver and two bronze while Australia won two gold, two silver and four bronze medals.

    Performance director Dave Brailsford, in an interview with British Cycling prior to Worlds, described the Minsk world championships as "the first step toward Rio 2016" and additionally stated that the line-up in Minsk will display "a changing of the guard within the team".

    Leading the way for Great Britain was 21-year-old Rebecca James who became the nation's first rider to win four medals at single world championship. James became a double world champion, winning both the keirin and individual sprint, plus earned bronze in both the 500m time trial and team sprint, where she partnered with 19-year-old Victoria Williamson.

    "I was in so much pain, but I just pushed and pushed and I finished. And I finished in the front," said James after winning keirin gold on Sunday to close out her world championships, equaling her sprint and keirin double world championship earned in the junior ranks in 2009. James also became the first British woman since Victoria Pendleton in 2007 to win both elite-level individual sprint and keirin world titles at a single championship.

    Two additional medals were earned by British women including gold in the team pursuit with Elinor Barker, Dani King and Laura Trott as well as silver in the omnium for Trott, the 2012 Olympic omnium champion.

    Each of the five women Great Britain sent to track Worlds earned at least one medal, and...

  • Hoy to announce retirement

    Chris Hoy in action during the Sprint Masters events in Rotterdam
    Article published:
    April 15, 2013, 17:10 BST
    Cycling News

    British track star to end active career

    It will be the end of an era this week, as Sir Chris Hoy will hold a press conference at which he is expected to announce his retirement. The 37-year old has dominated track riding since 2005, and can claim six Olympic gold medals.

    Hoy has not raced since the London Olympics last summer, and it was an open secret that he would retire after the games. The Guardian newspaper said Monday that he will hold a press conference in his hometown of Edinburgh on Thursday.

    His six Olympic gold medals and one silver made him the most successful Olympic cyclist of all time.  He won silver in the team sprint in the 2000 Olympics, and one gold (time trial) in 2004. He took three golds at the 2008 Olympics in team sprint, keirin and sprint, and two in his homeland games of 2012, in team sprint and keirin.

    He also won11 World titles, from 2002 to 2012, in the 1km time trial, team sprint, and keirin.

    Hoy has started producing a line of HOY bikes with Evans Cycles, and has signed off on the first seven bikes, which are expected to be available the end of May. The designs include three road bikes and four city bikes, with a steel keiren bike a possibility for the future.

  • Gallery: Chris Hoy's career in pictures

    hris Hoy celebrates on the podium at the end of the men's 1 km time trial final at the Athens velodrome
    Article published:
    April 19, 2013, 11:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Britain's most successful Olympian retires

    Chris Hoy confirmed his retirement from cycling in Edinburgh on Thursday, calling time on a lengthy career that yielded six Olympic gold medals and eleven world titles.

    The Scot competed in four Olympic Games – Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London – and in that time, cycling in Britain went from niche to mainstream as national lottery funding placed solid foundations beneath lofty dreams. Big names came and went (and even came back) in that period, but Hoy was the most consistent figure, producing a string of impressive displays at the biggest events.

    Hoy’s run of success began in Athens in 2000, when he took silver in the team sprint alongside Craig MacLean and Jason Queally. Over the four years that followed, he took over from Arnaud Tournant as the top kilometre rider in the world, culminating in gold at the Athens Olympics of 2004.

    By Beijing, however, the kilo had been removed from the programme and Hoy was forced to focus his energies elsewhere. In a remarkable run, he came up with gold medals in the team sprint, keirin and individual sprint.

    Hoy left for Beijing as a cyclist and returned a household name. Later that year, he was named as BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year (the first cyclist since Tommy Simpson to be so honoured) and he was knighted for his achievements in the velodrome.

    At 32 years of age, it would have been easy for Hoy to call time on his career at that point, and certainly the next Olympic cycle did not go as smoothly as his build-up to Beijing. But London 2012 was the always the aim, and Hoy delighted the home crowds by taking two gold medals in his final two events on the track – the team sprint and the keirin.

    Hoy closes his career as Britain’s most successful Olympian and as one of the symbols of Britain’s remarkable transformation as a cycling power over the past 15 years. In

  • Meares begins UCI World Cup qualification process in Adelaide

    A jubilant Anna Meares (Australia)
    Article published:
    June 06, 2013, 3:01 BST
    Cycling News

    London Olympic gold medalist returns to racing

    After six months of training, London Olympic Games gold medalist Anna Meares will return to the velodrome next month in Adelaide.

    Meares, who defeated long-time rival Great Britain's Victoria Pendleton in the sprint in London, took an extended break after the Games and warned that she will have nowhere near the form she showed 12 months previously.

    "I wouldn't expect myself to be either," she told the Adelaide Advertiser.

    "I've only trained for six months now, I had a niggle with my back about a month ago and had five months off [after London].

    "So I'm finding new challenges, ways to stay focused, motivated and driven particularly in the cold wet months when it's harder."

    Meares will ride in three meets taking place – the Adelaide Track Cup, Super-Drome Trophy, and South Australian Track Challenge – between July 10 and 14 with athletes from Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong and New Zealand also taking part. The meets will serve as qualifiers for the UCI World Cup.

    Under new rules put in place by the UCI for 2013-14, athletes must now qualify enough points to in order to be eligible to race at the UCI World Cups, the first of which is in Manchester in November.

    Meares admitted she is nervous about her return, but was glad to be racing on home soil.

    "It's nice to after a race be able to come home, to dip my feet back in, get my racing head back on and get a feel for things again," the 29-year-old said.

    "It will be tough because it will be cold. It's not heated out at the track and I'm sure I'll make mistakes so I've got to be patient with myself and understand that it's been a while."