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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 27, 2011

Date published:
October 27, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Australia's next crop set to race in Junior Track Series

    Taylah Jennings in action
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 7:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Five round event a key development platform

    The first round of the inaugural Cycling Australia National Junior Track Series (NJTS) will hit the boards this Friday at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome.

    The series is a club based competition for under 15 and under 17 year old cyclists and aims to aid the transition to elite racing and support the future of track cycling within Australia. It's hoped it will also underpin the growth of Cycling Australia's high performance talent base.

    The Series will feature five rounds staged at major indoor velodromes around Australia:
    • October 7 - Sydney Dunc Gray Velodrome
    • October 22 - Melbourne DISC Velodrome
    • November 19 - Launceston Silverdrome
    • December 10 - Perth Speed Dome
    • January 17 - Adelaide Super-Drome

    Presented by the Santos Tour Down Under, the Series is also supported by Jayco and Shimano, with the GreenEdge cycling team also backing the project.

    More than 150 cyclists from around Australia will line up in the opening round which features events with an emphasis on speed and skills.

    Cycling Australia CEO Graham Fredericks says the new series will provide important racing opportunities for junior cyclists.

    "We're hoping to encourage a new generation of track cyclists through this series and build on our current stocks for the long term," said Fredericks. "We've had a constant stream of world class athletes come through the track programs at national and state institute level but we need to make sure the talent flow continues.

    "Many of the champions we've produced on the track here at home have gone on to the world stage and achieved great success including Olympic Games glory."

    Australia achieved record results at this year's senior track world titles in Apeldoorn in March, winning eight of the 19 gold medals on offer including six of the 10 Olympic events...

  • Dowsett, Thomas and Backstedt set for Revolution Series

    Magnus Backstedt shows off the UK Youth team kit.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 11:21 BST
    Cycling News

    Former Paris-Roubaix winner to race in Manchester

    A host of names have signed up for the Revolution Series which kicks off in Manchester, England on October 29. Geraint Thomas, Alex Dowsett (both Team Sky) and former Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt (UK Youth) will all line up at the Manchester velodrome for an evening of racing.

    This season, the Revolution Championship will be contested purely by the endurance riders, competing in teams for Championship points which will decide the winning team after four events. The sprint competition will sit outside the Championship, featuring team sprints, head-to-head clashes and other high speed battles between Britain’s top sprinters and their international rivals.

    Once again Sky will send a stellar line-up of riders. As well as Thomas and Dowsett, the British WorldTour team will include Russell Downing, Ben Swift and Pete Kennaugh.

    Rapha Condor Sharp will line up with their own Olympic track specialist Ed Clancy and his teammates Andy Tennant and Dean Downing.

    However, the organisers of the event have pulled off a small coup in attracting Backstedt. His UK Youth squad will be making their debut in the race series and include national pursuit champion Steven Burke as well as the experienced Swede.

    As the season continues, the Revolution series will draft in a number of other riders, including Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Ross Edgar and Matt Crampton.


  • Romero out of 2012 Olympic Games

    Rebecca Romero (Great Britain) will not defend her pursuit title
    Article published:
    October 10, 2011, 17:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Olympic pursuit champion leaves British national team

    British Cycling confirmed that Rebecca Romero has made the decision to leave Great Britain's Olympic programme. The Olympic Pursuit champion of the 2008 Beijing Games will thus not be part of the British line-up at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

    "Having suffered several setbacks at crucial points, I believe I'm no longer on a pathway which will see me fulfill my Olympic ambition to win a second gold medal. I'm proud to have contributed to the cycling team's great Olympic triumph in Beijing and, I thank all the amazing people within British Cycling who were central to my success. I wish my current teammates every success in London next year," Romero stated in a press release.

    The 31-year-old, who won the individual pursuit in Beijing three years ago, had to adapt her ambition following the restructuring of Olympic track cycling events in 2009, which excluded the individual pursuit but kept the team pursuit event. "It was a huge blow to her when the UCI decided to abolish the individual pursuit for 2012, that was the event she has always been most suited to," Great Britain's national endurance coach, Dan Hunt, who was Romero's personal coach in 2008 when she won Olympic gold, told the Telegraph.

    "[To leave the Olympic programme] was entirely Rebecca's decision. She had worked very hard this summer to try and return to the form and fitness with which she could challenge for a place in the women's team pursuit squad. There were a few injury issues as well which didn't help, and eventually she came to the decision that it wasn't happening."

    Romero, who became the first British woman to win Olympic medals in two completely different sports after moving into cycling following a career in rowing, bowed out of...

  • Points race silver driving Meyer's rainbow ambitions in Melbourne

    Defending champion Cameron Meyer (Australia) would earn the silver medal.
    Article published:
    October 19, 2011, 1:00 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Decision time for multiple world champ ahead of 2012 track farewell

    2012 looms as a busy year for Cameron Meyer. The West Australian will hopefully be a part of Australia's first UCI ProTour team when GreenEdge makes its debut at the Tour Down Under in January where he'll be defending champion, and then there's a home world championships on the track in April before his focus moves to London for the Olympic Games.

    But if there's one moment that's driving him, it's the points race from this year's UCI Track World Championships in Apeldoorn where he walked away with a silver medal after heading into the race as dual world title holder and outright favourite.

    Meyer, 23, is particularly passionate about the 160-lap battle of strength, speed and tactical ability, given it was the first event that he took on at a senior world championships. He does his homework on all of his rivals, possibly why the result in Apeldoorn leaves a slightly bitter taste.

    "I still think it was a good performance to win a silver medal at the world championships and the Colombian [Edwin Ávila Alcibiades] fully deserved it – he made the right move he played the right tactic against me to beat me as the defending world champion," Meyer told Cyclingnews.

    "I missed that one move and that was the one that I didn't tactically plan right when the Colombian went. I know how the Colombians race and I knew that tactic would come at some stage. I needed help from the rest of the peloton and I couldn't get it. The pressure was put on me to pull the move back and at the end of the day it was too late."

    The other motivation for Meyer is that 2012 will be the last year he splits his concentration between the boards and the road where he's just closed out the current season at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, racing for the...

  • European Track Championships start in the Netherlands

    Robert Slippens has put an end to his pro career
    Article published:
    October 21, 2011, 13:26 BST
    Sarah Connolly

    Count-down to the Olympic Games continues as riders fight for team spots

    The European Track Championships start today in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. The competition should be fierce, as points from the Championships count towards Olympic qualification - and with only one rider per nation allowed to compete in each event, some riders from the strong European track nations, like France, Great Britain and Italy, will be seeing as much competition from their teammates for precious places on the Olympic squads as they will from other countries.

    Great Britain is one of the countries entering the competition with big ambitions. British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton wants nothing less than victory, telling BBC Sport: "It's a key Olympic qualifier and a chance to dominate Europe totally. This is a major target for us as part of the build-up to the Olympic Games."

    One rider missing from the British squad, however, is Bradley Wiggins, who has not yet decided if he will defend his Olympic team pursuit title next year. "Brad is in control of his own destiny and he'll advise me of the direction he wants to go in the next few months," said Sutton.

    "He's a massive contender for that Olympic medal on the road. Does he want to come and do the team pursuit? Only he will know."

    A clash of dates between the European Championships and the Amsterdam Six-Day means that some other teams are not as strong as they would hope. The Netherlands men's endurance team has been particularly affected - although national coach Robert Slippens, a former track star himself, appreciates the riders' reasons. "The professional riders in our team chose to ride in Amsterdam because that's what they earn their money from. I understand that but it's a shame nonetheless," he told the Apeldoorn organisers.

    Slippens remained confident in the team's chances of medals in the endurance events, and expected medals in the omnium from 2011 World Championships silver...

  • Keisse and De Ketele win European Madison championship

    Belgians Kenny De Ketele and Iljo Keisse won the European Madison championship
    Article published:
    October 23, 2011, 21:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgians win just hours after completing Amsterdam Six Day

    Belgians Iljo Keisse and Kenny De Ketele took the European Madison title in Apeldoorn today, just hours after completing the Amsterdam Six Day the night before on separate teams.

    Keisse wrapped up the overall victory in Amsterdam, where he helped Dutch rider Niki Terpstra to his first Six Day victory, after midnight on Saturday. The pair finished one lap up on fierce competition from Dutch pair Peter Schep and Wim Stroetinga. De Ketele's fortunes were much different - paired with young rider Barry Markus, he finished eight laps behind in seventh place in Amsterdam.

    After a short night's sleep and a trip to nearby Apeldoorn, the two Belgians united to face the first qualifying heat at 10am, where they made it into the finals by taking second to Czech pair Vojtech Hacecky and Marek Mixa.

    In a thrilling final, Keisse and De Ketele held a superior points tally heading into the last laps, but they were one lap shy of the lead and getting desperate.

    The Austrian team of Andreas Graf and Andreas Müller (Austria) had already gained a lap with Vivien Brisse and Morgan Kneisky (France-A), then Claudio Imhof and Cyrille Thièry (Switzerland-B), and Martin Blaha and Milan Kadlec (Czech Republic-A) made it up onto the lead lap, with the Swiss holding a one point lead of the four teams.

    With just seven laps to go, a Hail Mary attack by Keisse finally succeeded in bringing the team onto the lead lap with just seven laps to go, and with 19 points to the Swiss 12, it earned them Belgium's only gold medal of the meet.

    The two victories for Keisse follow a nightmarish season in which his road career faltered under the weight of a

  • Gregory Ball banned for two years by Cycling Australia

    Queensland’s Gregory Ball won the men's kilometre C2 crown
    Article published:
    October 26, 2011, 11:22 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian to miss 2012 Paralympic Games

    The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has officially acknowledged the two-year ban levied by Cycling Australia on Gregory Ball following his positive test for the banned substance stanozolol, a synthetic anabolic agent, earlier this year.

    Ball returned a positive sample at the Australian Track Cycling Championships on February 4 in Sydney, where he set a world record in the men’s C1 kilometre time trial. His time has been removed from the record book and the ban has been backdated, meaning that he is unable to participate in any sports that comply with World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules until 9 March 2013.

    This ends Ball’s hopes of qualifying for the Australian team that will travel to London next year for the 2012 Paralympic Games. He will also have to repay a total of A$27,500 in grants and support to the Australian Sports Commission.

  • US masters rider suspended for doping

    US National championship jerseys and medals
    Article published:
    October 27, 2011, 21:28 BST
    Cycling News

    42-year-old tested positive at US masters track nationals

    The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced on Wednesday that Michael Miller, of Morgantown, Pennsylvania, has tested positive for a prohibited substance and accepted a suspension for his doping offense.

    The 42-year-old tested positive for methylhexaneamine, a stimulant, as a result of a sample collected at the Masters Track Nationals, on July 27, 2011, in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania. Miller had won the national championship in the 3000m individual pursuit for the 40-44 age category on that day.

    Methylhexaneamine is classified as a Specified Substance, and therefore the presence of that substance in an athlete’s sample can result in a reduced sanction.

    Miller accepted an eight-month period of ineligibility, which began on September 2, 2011, the day he accepted a provisional suspension. As a result of the sanction, Miller is also disqualified from all results obtained during the Masters Track Nationals, which began on July 26, 2011, as well as any other competitive results obtained subsequent to July 26, 2011, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.