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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Date published:
June 07, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Baugé targets Olympic Gold after triple world championship

    Grégory Baugé celebrates his victory with his friends and family
    Article published:
    March 29, 2011, 11:40 BST
    Cycling News

    World's fastest track sprinter tempted by match against Cavendish

    Grégory Baugé, who claimed his third sprint Gold medal at last week's Track Worlds in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, now targets his first Olympic Gold at the London Olympics in 2012. The French rider told L'Equipe that an Olympic consecration would be a significant highlight of his career, even more so at the tender age of 27.

    "It's not the third title that counts - the important thing is to win," he said after receiving the honours. "It's an enormous satisfaction. This title isn't more beautiful than the first (2009), but I continue to progress. I am not Olympic champion yet, but that is my goal."

    After his victorious ride, Baugé saluted two-time Olympic sprint champion Jens Fiedler seated in the public - a way for the Frenchman to affirm his status and pride. "It meant to say that it's me, Grégory Baugé. I'm 26 years old, I'm black, French but originally from Guadeloupe, and I'm three times world champion. I am part of the elite that has marked the sprint," he proudly said.

    Next year, in London, Baugé will naturally be the great favourite for the sprint crown, and he felt very confident. "Honestly, I have no fear [of losing - ed.]. I was a favourite, here, too. I am still hungry.

    "But to me, it's not the jersey that is the real goal. It's to stand up against the sprinters who pretend to be the best and to beat them on D-Day. That's what's really good."

    As a teenager, Baugé started riding racing on the road, but then opted for the track. "I had fun in the finale, when you had to ride up to the front of the peloton to do the sprint. I loved to win.

    "[But] I think a road career would have been difficult for me with my skin colour; the scene is not ready for it yet," he added, alluding to latent racism in the pro...

  • A century of Australian cycling history under threat

    The Hurstville Velodrome in its current state.
    Article published:
    April 12, 2011, 23:34 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    The fight to stop council plans to demolish Hurstville Velodrome

    Hurstville Velodrome has been the home track to a vast number of Australian cycling greats, however local council plans to reinvigorate the oval in the centre of the track along with neighbouring parklands, threatens the future viability of St. George Cycling Club.

    Hurstville Council has undertaken a project organisation to look at expanding Hurstville Oval to accommodate more games of first class cricket and also extend the ground for Aussie rules football. The oval is the home of St. George District Cricket Club while athletics, rugby league and football also make use of the facilities.

    Those plans ultimately include the demolition of the cycling track which according to Clouston Associates - the urban and landscape design company consulting on the proposed redevelopment - "limits new sport opportunities." So while games of Aussie rules would be able to be played, cycling would become a thing of the past.

    It's an all too familiar story in Sydney which at one point had nine velodromes in the metropolitan area, including Hurstville.

    One cyclist outraged at the planned demolition is Team Sky's CJ Sutton who told Cyclingnews: "I was born and raised at that track... You never forget where you start out. I remember as a kid watching Graeme Brown, Steve Wooldridge; all these guys raced there."

    The council endorsed the draft plan for public exhibition on November 24 and with a meeting in May, a decision on the future of the oval will be finalised.

    Literature on the council website states that St. George Cricket Club, Cricket New South Wales and the AFL, which is the national governing body of Aussie rules football, were all consulted regarding...

  • Track Cycling sells out for London 2012 Games

    The London 2012 velodrome
    Article published:
    April 28, 2011, 6:21 BST
    Cycling News

    Tickets oversubscribed and will now be allocated via ballot

    The London Olympic Committee announced today that all tickets for the Track Cycling events for the 2012 games have been sold out. Track Cycling was one of the sports at the games that was oversubscribed for by those placing orders and this means there will now be a ballot to allocate the available seats.

    LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe was extemely happy with the response by applicants,

    "We are thrilled with the response right across the board, in all sports and all sessions.  Certain events have seen massive demand – for example the Opening Ceremony, which is more than 10 times oversubscribed, so there will understandably be disappointment and we will find a way to go back to those people with other tickets."

    "What is most encouraging is that the majority of applications are for multiple tickets and for several sports, which shows that friends and family are planning to go to the Games together."

    95% of the applicants for tickets came from within the United Kingdom and nearly 20 million tickets were applied for overall. Track Cycling has always been a popular part of the Olympic games, enjoying strong support at each of the Sydney, Athens and Beijing games in the last decade.

    The sell out comes as little surprise particularly considering the success of British cyclists at the 2008 games in Beijing. Britain won 12 medals in 2008 and the onslaught resulted in a complete overhaul of the high performance program in Australia.

    The London Olympic games begin on the 27th of July 2012.

  • Great Britain's team sprint looks to BMX talent

    Great Britain rode against Australia for the bronze medal
    Article published:
    May 05, 2011, 3:48 BST
    Cycling News

    Phillips hoping to emulate Staff at London 2012

    BMX rider Liam Phillips could follow the path set by Jamie Staff and represent Great Britain on the track at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

    Twenty-two-year-old Phillips has joined the team in London in the hope of being selected in the team sprint, and fill the gap left by Staff in his retirement. Great Britain claimed bronze in the event at this year's track world championship with a team of Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny and Matthew Crampton, behind France and Germany.

    It's thought that Phillips has the potential to be Great Britain's next man one for the team sprint, given his skills from a standing start in BMX. The prospect of an Olympic medal aside, there is another catalyst for Phillips switch to the track.

    "I was sick to death of BMX injuries and knew if there was another route to the Olympics, I'd be stupid not to take it," Phillips, told BBC Sport.

    "I have eight months to show I'm at a level where I can make the team."

    The Somerset man has raced BMX for 17 years, however he hasn't raced a full season in the last four due to injury. Following his most-recent surgery on his wrist and elbow, the offer to test himself on the track was too good to refuse.

    "I can only see this being a positive opportunity. It's a chance to train full-time around some of the best cycling athletes in the world, and I can still compete at a good level without the same injury risk."

    Just over a year remains until the Olympics and Phillips has eight months to see if he can match it with the likes of Frenchman Gregory Bauge and ride a 17.3 opening lap.

    "If the track doesn't work out I've got seven months to get back into shape for the BMX,” Phillips explained. As host...

  • Awang back on track, as teammates change direction

    Men's keirin gold medalist Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia)
    Article published:
    May 09, 2011, 13:28 BST
    Steve Thomas / Cyclingnews

    Malaysian track star returns to training after his injury at Manchester

    Few will ever forget the harrowing images of Malaysia’s top track sprinter, Azizulhasni Awang, as his leg was skewered right through by a huge wooden stake-sized splinter of the Manchester Velodrome during the keirin event at the Track World Cup earlier this year.

    Fortunately for the 23-year old Malaysian, this was the closing round of the 2010-11 World Cup, and he had already earned enough points in the previous rounds to secure his overall victory in the keirin competition. But the flipside of the injury was that he was ruled out of this year's World Track Championships, where he had high hopes of becoming the first Malaysian rider ever to take a world cycling title.

    The injuries to Awang’s leg were substantial, and put an end to his season. After having the “splinter” removed in Manchester, he returned to the Malaysian team’s training base in Melbourne before heading to his home region on the east coast of Malaysia, where he was married, and then set about his rehabilitation.

    Currently, Awang is training at the Malaysian National Sports Centre in Kuala Lumpur, and took his first ride this week.

    “My leg is getting better now; I planned to go back to Melbourne to continue training, but the physiotherapist wanted to postpone things so they could check me after every training session.”

    For some time the Malaysian track team have had their aims pinned on the London 2012 Olympics, especially the team sprint. But things have not quite panned out for the...

  • Anna Meares’ Track World Championships in her own words

    Anna Meares (Australia) claims an emotional individual sprint world title over Simona Krupeckaitė (Lithuania)
    Article published:
    May 11, 2011, 3:16 BST
    Sarah Connolly

    Multiple world champion describes how it felt racing Pendleton and Krupeckaite

    After winning three gold medals at the UCI Track World Championships in March, Australian sprinter Anna Meares has written about her experiences of the event, and how it feels to finally be crowned sprint world champion, breaking the domination of Britain's Victoria Pendleton.

    On her blog at she describes the atmosphere at the Dutch velodrome, and how her three days of racing played out. Although she was the 2010 Track World Champion in the 500m time trial, she had decided not to defend her title, to focus on the three Olympic sprint events. When it came to the sprint, she and Kaarle McCulloch had already retained their World Team Sprint title, and she easily passed through the early rounds of the sprint, until she came to the semi-finals, racing against Pendleton, the World Champion since 2007.

    "I knew I had to be on from the very get go. Race one saw Vicky leading and me following, I jumped and made my move as the bend straightened towards the back straight. I found myself moving very quickly past Victoria and before I knew it I had my whole bike in front of her and crossed the line. I was one up. But I wasn't getting confident. The job wasn't done and I was up against one of the toughest sprint opponents possible."

    "Race Two and I led out giving Vicky the perfect set up for her style of racing. What was I thinking? I don't know, but it saw her take the win to make it one a piece, and we were headed for a decider.

    "Race 3 and all eyes were on the velodrome as we rolled out. The nerves were ever-present, the...

  • Hurstville Velodrome will be saved

    The Hurstville Velodrome in its current state.
    Article published:
    May 11, 2011, 6:45 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    St George Cycling Club wins battle with local council

    Last month, Cyclingnews brought you the story of Hurstville Velodrome in Sydney which was facing demolition due to local council plans to reinvigorate the grounds surrounding the concrete track.

    Today, we can announce that Hurstville Velodrome has been saved thanks to a decision by council caucus which will be confirmed at a Council meeting on May 25. The plea to save the velodrome had tremendous community support, with close to 1700 people signing a petition to keep the track.

    Phill Bates President of St George Cycling Club, which has its home at the velodrome, was furious at the move which would have destroyed over a century of Australian cycling history.

    "Council may have had a good reason to remove the track if St George Cycling Club were not using the velodrome but we have remained the most consistent users of this historic oval along with the many members of the public that cycle for health and recreational benefits. We were never going to walk away from our track."

    Mayor of Hurstville, Cr Philip Sansom, discussed the issue with a number of his fellow Councillors in an effort to secure their cooperation and said that the velodrome was, "a cornerstone of Hurstville’s sporting identity and should remain so well into the future."

    The cycling club, keen for heritage listing of the oval, has also been delighted with advice this week that the velodrome has been given a high standing on the National Trust register - a major stepping stone to heritage listing.

    Big money has been spent in terms of the track's maintenance with some funding coming from sponsors and training fees. Most recently, the track has been completely repainted and the photo above shows it in its current state.

    Maintenance over the past three years has been an expensive exercise, with around 1.3 kilometres of cracks filled as...

  • Hoy not ruling out Glasgow Commonwealth Games

    Chris Hoy (Great Britain) sets off.
    Article published:
    June 07, 2011, 3:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Four-time Olympic gold medallist pleased with London preparation

    Sir Chris Hoy says he is unsure of his racing future post the London Olympics, leaving any decisions regarding his participation in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games until after next year's event.

    The 35-year-old told BBC Scotland that competing in the Commonwealth Games in 2014 on home soil is an opportunity he would relish.

    "Two years, it is not unfeasible," he said. "It just depends on motivation and injury status.

    "If you stay healthy, you still want it, there's no reason why you can't keep going."

    The four-time Olympic gold medallist explained that his primary focus is on next year's Olympics.

    "It is hard work, but it is going really well," he said. "I am really enjoying it. It is exciting because this is really the start of the final run-in to London.

    "Everything you do now is going to have a direct impact on how you perform in London.

    "So every session counts and I am giving it may all and, fingers crossed, it is going to be as successful in London as it was for Beijing."

    Hoy walked away from the 2011 UCI Track World Championships in March with a silver medal in the keirin and two bronze medals garnered in the sprint and team sprint. It was the first time the Scotsman had missed out on a gold medal at the event since 2003. He did not compete at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010.

    While he may not compete in Glasgow, Hoy said that he would still attend the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    "Whatever happens, I'll be there to experience the event... It is such a massive thing for Scotland and for Glasgow."