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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, March 22, 2012

Date published:
March 22, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Cyclones select sterling line-up for Track Worlds

    Leigh Howard and Cameron Meyer with some new jerseys and medals.
    Article published:
    March 14, 2012, 0:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australia recalls Ankudinoff, Meyer and Howard

    Cycling Australia today announced the Cyclones team to contest the 2012 UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne from 4 to 8 April. The event is the last major track event before the Olympic Games, and will serve as the final chance for riders to press their claims for a seat on the plane to London.

    The squad boasts eight defending world champions amongst a wealth of experienced campaigners and young talent. A long team of 19 has been named but the men's track endurance squad will be trimmed by one before Melbourne.

    "Preparations have been going well and everyone has been working hard to be in top form for the championships," said Cycling Australia National Performance Director, Kevin Tabotta. "This is a rare opportunity for the team to race at the very highest level in front of a home crowd with family and friends in the stands to support them.

    "To claim the rainbow jersey of world champion is a very special honour but the most important thing is for each and every member of the team to deliver their very best and I'm confident that will be the case in Melbourne."

    Sprint team

    Reigning sprint and keirin world champion Anna Meares will be lining up in her tenth elite world titles on the same track where she won the 500 metre time trial in 2004 to claim her first rainbow jersey in senior competition. Kaarle McCulloch, with whom Meares has won the past three team sprint world titles, will join her to race the women's sprint events.

    In the men's ranks 2011 keirin world champion, Shane Perkins will line up with Scott Sunderland and Matthew Glaetzer, in the team sprint. The trio set an Australian record in Kazakhstan in November at the opening round of the World Cup and at last month's London round, 19 year old Glaetzer rode the fastest last lap of the competition. The trio will also cover the keirin and sprint while Australian champion James Glasspool will race the kilometre time trial in his first...

  • Canada ups cycling funding ahead of Olympics

    Canada during their triumphant team pursuit final performance
    Article published:
    March 14, 2012, 1:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Ministry of Sport happy to bolster commitment

    The Canadian Government will provide additional funding for a number of its high performance summer sports programs, including cycling, in preparation for the upcoming 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    "Our Government is proud to support Canadian athletes and to enhance the Canadian sport system," said Minister of State Gosal. "Canada's Olympic and Paralympic athletes are a source of inspiration and great pride. The accomplishments of the Canadian team may inspire young people across the country to participate in sport."

    The funding increase comes through the goverment initiative, 'Own the Podium' set up before the Vancouver winter Olympics to support the aspirations of Canadian athletes. The announcement today is believed to be in response to recent success in several sports raising the country's ambitions.

    "We are very appreciative of the enhanced Government of Canada support in this final preparation period prior to the London Olympic Games. This is a period where having the extra funds to respond to additional preparation demands or opportunities for innovation are vitally important," said Greg Mathieu, CEO of the Canadian Cycling Association.

    The London Olympic Games start in July, 2012.

  • Freiberg questioning track future after Worlds snub

    Michael Freiberg in the elimination race.
    Article published:
    March 15, 2012, 21:26 GMT
    Alex Hinds

    End of Olympic dream for omnium world champion?

    A week ago at a combined road and track AIS training camp in Bright, Victoria, reigning world omnium champion Michael Freiberg was told he would not be going to the Track World Championships in Melbourne.

    Understandably the news came as a bitter blow for the 21-year-old, who will now not get a shot at defending the world title he took in Apeldoorn last year, and more importantly the non-selection also closes the door on his Olympic hopes – with little chance for recourse now between the Worlds and the London Games.

    "It's really hard for me, and I'm not happy about it. I asked the selectors for a reason when I was told, for my own piece of mind," said Freiberg to Cyclingnews. "I was surprised to learn that there had been a unanimous decision from the board that Glenn O'Shea was a better rider than me - in all respects - and that I wasn't even in the top-7 for the team pursuit.

    "That was hard to take, and something that surprised me, but that's how my performances have been rated by the panel."

    It's a stark change in fortune for the West Australian. 12 months ago he seemed sure to contest worlds, and at least be on the long-list for the London Olympics. Of course, Cycling Australia is blessed with a surplus of track talent in an Olympic year, and that means hard decisions have to be made, and this is one of them.

    Glenn O'Shea who is a teammate of Freiberg's in the Jayco-AIS road team seems to have sealed his spot, though the final announcement for the endurance squad is expected later this month. If he does get selected it'll be thanks to...

  • Giordana Velodrome opens in South Carolina

    A view from the rail of the Giordana Velodrome
    Article published:
    March 16, 2012, 22:00 GMT
    Neil Browne

    Velodrome to host omnium national championships

    Track racing returns to South Carolina with the opening of the Giordana Velodrome located at the Riverwalk community in Rock Hill. For those who may not know the rich history of track racing, this discipline was a very popular sport in the early 1900s. Rock Hill boasted two velodromes at the time and well over a thousand fans would line the track to enjoy the racing.

    However, the popularity of a new form of transportation, the automobile, muted the growth of the sport.

    Now after several years of planning by local attorney Spencer Lueders, the city's Economic Development Department, and Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, the Giordana Velodrome is opening to the public. The track is a 250-meter, 42.5 degree banked track and meets Olympic standards.

    The outdoor concrete track was designed by German architect Ralph Schuermann.

    Track certification is required before being allowed to race on the velodrome. For those without track bikes, rentals are available for a fee.

    There is grandstand seating that will accommodate 800 people as well as an overhead officials booth.

    In addition to the velodrome the 250 acre Riverwalk area is also developing a cyclo-cross course, mountain bike trails, a one to one and a half mile road course for criterium racing, and a BMX track. A mixed use retail/living space design element is also part of the Riverwalk project.

    The funding for the velodrome came from the city which sought $5 million through the federal new market tax credit. In addition $700,000 was raised in sponsorship money – exceeding the $500,000 goal. The clothing manufacture Giordana paid for the naming rights and will contribute $20,000 each year for 10 years. Gita Sports, which imports Giordana as well as other Italian cycling brands, is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates and the Carolina HealthCare System also contributed to the...

  • Impressive field comes together for Perth International Track Cycling Grand Prix

    Meyer crosses the line on the final lap to take the first Australian victory at the event in over 20 years.
    Article published:
    March 18, 2012, 22:57 GMT
    Cycling News

    Meyer, Kent, Romanyuta and Dillier confirmed starters

    A blazing international field of national, European and World Champion track cyclists will once again descend on Perth to tear up the boards at the Chevron 2012 Perth International Track Cycling Grand Prix.

    This year marks the 12th running of the Perth International Track Cycling Grand Prix. Now a UCI Category 1 Event, this competition will showcase track cycling at its very best and will act as a warm up event to the 2012 World Championships to be held in Melbourne from 4-8th April.

    Perth's cycling fans will witness local stars, including multiple world champion Cameron Meyer, compete against elite-level riders from around the globe, all chasing UCI points in an extravaganza of speed and action at the Midvale Speeddome on March 24th.

    Event Director Murray Hall was delighted to secure local champion Sarah Kent, "World Champion and world record holder Sarah Kent is now confirmed to ride which adds great depth to the women's endurance events and the fact that she is Perth born and bred is great news for the local fans. We are thrilled to have her on the start line".

    Kent was also thrilled to be competing at the Grand Prix: "Racing in front of your home crowd in an event of this magnitude is magnificent for the morale. It simply doesn't get any better than this!"

    Local legend Meyer also spoke of his eagerly awaited appearance at the event, "The Perth Grand Prix will be my final hit out before defending my World Title in Melbourne. I have my sights set on the Grand Prix double, the points and scratch races. I have the form to do it."

    One of the internationals taking the field in a strong Swiss line-up includes national champion Loic Perizzolo, who is certainly enjoying his time in Perth, "I was given permission from the Swiss Federation to come to Perth early to prepare for the Chevron GP and Melbourne World Championships. It was the best decision for me. I...

  • BikeNZ names largest team for track world championships

    Kiwi Shane Archbold winds it up for the flying lap
    Article published:
    March 21, 2012, 4:41 GMT
    Cycling News

    Sergent unavailable due to road commitments

    New Zealand will send their largest team ever to next month's UCI World Track Cycling Championships in Melbourne.

    The team, announced today by BikeNZ, will comprise 20 riders, likely to be the biggest team of any country to contest the five-day event at the Hisense Arena on 4-8 April.

    It is the first time that New Zealand has fielded riders to contest all four categories - male and female endurance and sprint.

    The team, currently training at the Invercargill Velodrome, are keen to build on their strong medal winning performances over the last three years. Since 2009 BikeNZ has won 11 medals at the world championships, the same number earned over the previous 38 years.

    While the team is focussed firmly on success in Melbourne, they have a weather-eye on July's London Olympics and beyond.

    "The size of the team is largely because of their performances in the World Cups and the Oceania Championships where we have qualified a record number of spots," said BikeNZ High Performance Director Mark Elliott.

    "Because the championships are in such close proximity to us, then it was an ideal opportunity to ensure we filled all of the places that we had qualified in, and in that respect we have the chance to look a little to the future with some of the selections. For a number of riders, these world championships are their pinnacle event.

    "The world championships are always a decisive target for our riders and we want to come home with world class performances. The world championships are ideally-placed for us to target as our first peak of the year, and then re-set for London. Our coaches had always set these world championships as an important litmus test of our progress towards the London Olympics.

    "Some of our riders are still gunning for qualification for London, so they will be all guns blazing.

    "And we are also competing in some of the...

  • Tennant added to Team GB for Track World Championships

    Chris Newton, Andy Tennant and Jon Mould
    Article published:
    March 22, 2012, 4:38 GMT
    Cycling News

    Brailsford impressed by training performance

    British Cycling has announced that Andy Tennant has been added to the men's endurance squad for next month's UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne, Australia.

    Tennant, 25, joins Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Peter Kennaugh, Ben Swift and Geraint Thomas, in a bid to be selected to compete in the team pursuit, with one set to miss out.

    "Training over the last couple of weeks has gone really well," British Cycling's performance director, Dave Brailsford said. “Andy has justified his inclusion in the squad and will travel to Melbourne."

    Tennant won the world junior individual pursuit title in 2005, where he bested New Zealand's Sam Bewley.

    The 16-strong squad to travel to Melbourne is:

    Matt Crampton
    Philip Hindes
    Sir Chris Hoy
    Jason Kenny
    Victoria Pendleton
    Jess Varnish

    Men's Endurance
    Steven Burke
    Ed Clancy
    Pete Kennaugh
    Ben Swift
    Geraint Thomas
    Andy Tennant

    Women's Endurance
    Wendy Houvenaghel
    Dani King
    Joanna Rowsell
    Laura Trott

  • Team GB kit for London 2012 Olympics unveiled

    Chris Hoy modelling the Team GB cycling kit for the London 2012 Olympics
    Article published:
    March 22, 2012, 13:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    Stella McCartney and Adidas team up for the design

    Official photographs of the Team GB cycling kit for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games have been released, with Sir Chris Hoy and Lizzie Armitstead striking the poses as models.

    The dark colouring is a departure from the kit worn at previous Games, and has come about via a partnership between British fashion designer Stella McCartney and German sportswear giant Adidas. The kit will be available to purchase in shops, and proceeds from sales will go towards paying for the Games. The designs were unveiled at the Tower of London by McCartney on Thursday morning.

    The 2012 London Olympics start on July 28 and run until August 12.