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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Date published:
March 13, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Swift determined to push into Olympic pursuit team

    Ben Swift (GB) in the men¹s omnium flying lap
    Article published:
    February 19, 2012, 15:17 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Team Sky sprinter heads to Giro d'Italia in May

    After a sterling performance on the final day of the omnium at the Track World Cup in London, Ben Swift is determined to push his way into the Great Britain team pursuit team. The Team Sky rider was left out of the squad on the eve of the London meet at the Olympic velodrome and penned in for the omnium, an event he has raced in the past.

    The multi-day event proved to mixed affair for Swift. A niggling hamstring hampered his efforts on day one but he fought back to claim a win in the scratch race and finish 6th overall.

    “The points race should have been one of my strongest disciplines. I really underperformed there, and quite badly. And the flying lap was also a disappointment because I was going quicker in training” he told Cyclingnews.

    “Once I knew I was out of contention for the overall win I just wanted to win one race and the scratch race was the best opportunity to do that. The crowd was unbelievable.”

    Although ending on that high Swift is still eyeing a place on the team pursuit, an event he has been on the fringes for in the past.

    “The team pursuit is still the number one goal. The omnium is tailor made for Ed Clancy and he’s so consistent every time he rides it. He’s unbelievable. I’ll aim for the team pursuit at the Worlds and the Olympics.”

    However, if the pursuit is not an option and the team offer an omnium slot Swift will still take it, aware that it provides a strong shot of a medal come London 2012.

    “I’ll do it because it’s another shot. I can definitely improve because my strongest event ended up being one of my worst here. I always tend to get stronger as the event goes on and I think it’s a case of getting my track legs back on.”

  • Tabotta predicts medals-a-plenty for Australia at London Olympics

    Annette Edmondson flat out in the omnium pursuit
    Article published:
    February 20, 2012, 5:16 GMT
    Cycling News

    Gold, silver on final day of World Cup competition

    Cycling Australia's National Performance Director Kevin Tabotta is confident of a strong performance from the Cyclones at the London Olympic Games saying that the nation can expect to be in the running for a podium spot in each event in the velodrome. Tabotta's comments come following a successful UCI World Cup meet at the Olympic venue where Australia took home seven medals, including two gold.

    The effort of the men's team pursuit squad which won gold on the final night of competition, was one which really impressed Tabotta given the prolonged amount of time that the nucleus of the team has produced benchmark results.

    "We've really been on top for the last couple of years but it is always a challenge to stay on top," said Tabotta. "When you're coming from behind it is sometimes an easier task, easier to keep people's heads on and expectations at a level but when you're competing from the front you have to keep the wolves at bay and keep lifting it a notch every time.”

    The Australian team of Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Michael Hepburn, Alex Edmondson set the third fastest time in history (3:54.615) on night four to win gold ahead of Great Britain.

    Tabotta, like many pundits is expecting the world mark to tumble by the time the Olympics come around in August, with a World Championships also on the horizon in April.

    "The challenge for the Olympics in August is whether we can go two or three seconds faster to win the gold medal," he said.

    Bobridge explained that he believes the world mark could fall by at least three seconds over the next few months.

    "I think come the Games we are going to see around the 3:51, 3:50 mark," he said. "We have proved it over the past few...

  • Van Bon heads Down Under for Melbourne Madison

    Leon Van Bon throws Leif Lampater into the mix
    Article published:
    February 21, 2012, 0:32 GMT
    Cycling News

    March event key lead up for UCI Track World Championships

    Dutch six day legend and Tour de France stage winner Leon Van Bon heads a top international field for next month’s Melbourne Madison at Joe Ciavola Velodrome on March 3.

    Van Bon is one of 11 overseas cyclists heading to Melbourne in preparation for the coming world track championships in April.

    The international line-up also include Germans Leif Lampater, Christian Grasmann and Marcel Barth, Swiss stars Franco Marvulli and Michael Alborn and Andreas Müller of Austria, as well as New Zealanders Shane Archbold, Myron Simpson, Alex Frame and Pieter Bullings.

    Van Bon, was a silver medallist in the Points race at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and had his first race as a professional in 1998.

    The Madison field will also have a strong Australian representation, including Scott and Jackson Law, Caleb Ewan, Miles Scotson, Robbie McCarthy, Sean Finning, George Tansley, Ed Bissaker, Luke Davison, Evan Hull and Jack Cummings.

    The Melbourne Madison program will also feature the Sid Patterson Grand Prix and other support races.


  • London Track World Cup wrap: Britain top medals table

    Sir Chris Hoy celebrates when GB go top of the leader board in the men¹s team sprint
    Article published:
    February 21, 2012, 10:02 GMT
    Jeff Jones/

    Successful start for home team in key Olympic test

    Hosts Great Britain topped the medal table in the fourth round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, which was staged in the Olympic velodrome in London between Thursday and Sunday.

    The Brits won five gold medals of the 14 that were on offer, also picking up a silver and two bronzes to take their total to eight. Close rivals Australia finished second with seven medals: two golds, three silvers and one bronze, while Germany won two golds, two silvers and a bronze to finish third on the table with five medals.

    Sprinter Sir Chris Hoy was the standout performer for Team GB, winning both the individual sprint and keirin, as well as teaming up with Ross Edgar and Jason Kenny to take bronze in the team sprint. Although Hoy won his events well, he gave the strong impression that there was more to come before the Olympics.

    In Britain's womens' sprinting stakes, Victoria Pendleton succeeded where Hoy failed, pairing with Jess Varnish to win the women's team sprint against Australia in a world record time of 32.754. Pendleton, however, was unable to back up in her individual events, finishing fourth in the individual sprint and fifth in the keirin. A similar fate befell her Australian rival Anna Meares, who ended with a silver in the team and individual sprints and sixth place in the keirin. Both riders struggled to back up for every race, a likely sign of a heavy training programme.

    In the endurance events, Team GB came away with a mixed bag of medals. Their biggest disappointment was not beating Australia in the final of the men's 4000m team pursuit on Sunday. The clash was dubbed The Ashes of the Track World Cup, mimicking the rivalry between the two countries in cricket.

    Australia drew first blood on Thursday, with their team of Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Alexander Edmondson and Michael Hepburn qualifying fastest in 3:57.885. Team GB's Steven...

  • Track Cycling Worlds: Great Britain team announced

    Back at the top...Chris Hoy wins the sprint gold
    Article published:
    February 24, 2012, 17:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    15 riders to travel to Melbourne in early April

    The 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships are due to roll into the historic Australian city of Melbourne in a few weeks' time (April 4-8) and British Cycling has today revealed the squad that will be on the plane Down Under.

    Team GB performed brilliantly at last weekend's Track World Cup in London, where they raced to the top of the medals table and to two new world records in the 2012 Olympic velodrome. They will be looking to continue their momentum in Australia as their preparations for the London 2012 Olympics move up another notch.

    "The London World Cup was very positive for us in terms of performance and we're looking to continue the momentum going into the World Championships," said British Cycling Performance Director David Brailsford.

    "We have selected a very similar team to travel to the World Championships; the only difference is in the men's sprint squad. In London, Ross Edgar was in the early stages of recovering from an injury and we think the best option for him now is to focus his training in the gym and on the road over the next few months and as such he won't travel to Australia - this doesn't mean we have ruled him out of selection for the Olympic Games.

    "The sprint coaches also feel that Philip Hindes has shown great potential in training and therefore it would be good for his development to shadow the World Championships team this year. Overall, we're going to Australia feeling confident, and we're looking forward to competing one last time before the Olympic Games."

    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

  • Australian selections still on the line for UCI Track World Championships

    Melissa Hoskins (Australia) wins gold in the scratch race
    Article published:
    March 08, 2012, 5:20 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Tabotta positive ahead of big year on the track

    Australia will name its team for the upcoming UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne next Wednesday with Cycling Australia's High Performance Director Kevin Tabotta saying that the nation is in a "really positive" position with both rainbow jerseys and Olympic medals on the line in the months ahead.

    Australia topped the tally with eight gold, two silvers and one bronze medal at the 2011 worlds in Apeldoorn, providing plenty to live up to with six of the nation's gold medals coming from Olympic events.

    Tabotta, speaking from Adelaide where the bulk of the world championship squad will be based for a team camp from Monday onwards, said that while most of the positions had been finalised, there are some spots still up for grabs before Wednesday's announcement.

    "Every time we go and pick a team for the world championships it's never 100 per cent clear cut," he said. "We do have a couple of decisions to make before Wednesday next week but I'll also say that the core of the team that we'll be looking at for the World Championships will logically be based around what we had at the world cup in London along with a couple of additions."

    The Cyclones came away from the London World Cup event last month with two gold medals (Melissa Hoskins - scratch race, Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Michael Hepburn, Alex Edmondson - team pursuit), three silver medals (Anna Meares, Kaarle McCulloch - team sprint, Anna Meares - sprint, Annette Edmondson - omnium) and two bronze medals (Josie Tomic, Amy Cure and Annette Edmondson - team pursuit, Amy Cure - individual pursuit).

    Endurance squad evolving

    Key performances in London came from the endurance squads with Alex Edmondson stepping to the team pursuit squad and effectively oust

  • USA wages Olympic qualification battles in Argentina

    The USA team with their coach.
    Article published:
    March 08, 2012, 23:44 GMT
    Cycling News

    Pan American championships one of last events for London spots

    The race for qualification places for the 2012 Olympic Games in London is nearing its end for track cycling, and the USA's chances to add members to its team increased at the Pan American Track Cycling Championships in Mar Del Plata, Argentina.

    Because the Olympic track peloton is limited to 10 countries in the team events (pursuit and sprint), eight in the sprint and keirin and 18 in the omnium, the battle for qualification has never been more intense.

    While the USA has only ensured its place in the women's team pursuit and omnium, it made important strides in the men's team sprint and omnium in the Pan Am championships.

    Michael Blatchford, Kevin Mansker and Jamie Watkins took home the gold medal this week over Canada and Argentina, with Venezuela finishing fourth. That result closed the gap for the USA, which must now fight to become one of 10 teams which earn a bid for the event in the London Olympic Games.

    The USA was 13th in the UCI nations rankings for the men's team sprint behind Venezuela and Canada before the championships. Only the UCI World Track Cycling Championships remains to decide the final composition of nations for London, and the USA could now add three members to its team for London with a strong result in Melbourne with the right combination of placings.

    "It was a long schedule with rain delays and warm weather, so we needed to conserve physical and mental energy,” said USA Cycling Sprint Track Program Director Jamie Staff. “We accomplished what we came here to do, and that was to gain points on Venezuela in the team sprint. The other medals we’ve earned have come as a nice reward for everyone’s hard work. Next, it’s straight back into...

  • Track World championship spots finalised by USA Cycling

    Happy Hammer ­- The American wins the omnium
    Article published:
    March 13, 2012, 1:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Hammer to test omnium form against Olympic-level competition

    The US will send eleven riders to contest the UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne, April 4-8, with the national federation announcing its final squad set to include all Sarah Hammer, Bobby Lea, and Lauren Tamayo among others.

    After earning a silver in the women's team pursuit at the 2011 UCI Track World Championships, the trio of Dotsie Bausch, Sarah Hammer and Jennie Reed, will be joined by world-record holder Lauren Tamayo in that event.

    After placing third in the scratch race at the Pan American Continental Championships in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Jennifer Valente earned automatic qualification to contest the race in Melbourne. Hammer also earned an automatic qualification for the omnium. On the men's side, Bobby Lea who earned his position by placing third in the omnium in Argentina, will contest the same event in Melbourne.

    Joining them, will be Cari Higgins, who will contest the points race with Matthew Lipscomb contesting the event for the men. A combination of the trio of Michael Blatchford, Kevin Mansker, and Jimmy Watkins, will compete in the team sprint and the sprint races.

    USA team for Track Worlds:

    Dotsie Bausch, Sarah Hammer, Cari Higgins, Jennie Reed, Lauren Tamayo, Jennifer Valente

    Michael Blatchford, Bobby Lea, Matthew Lipscomb, Kevin Mansker, Jimmy Watkins