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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Date published:
October 02, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Hoy hoping Brailsford will continue with Team GB

    Dave Brailsford back in the Velodrome with the British team.
    Article published:
    August 12, 2012, 10:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Performance director could focus solely on Sky ambitions

    While not quite matching their record haul of 14 medals from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Team GB have once again proved themselves to be the dominant force in world cycling inside and outside the velodrome at London 2012. And Team GB's totemic figure, Sir Chris Hoy, is hoping that the man who has been instrumental in Great Britain's recent successes, Performance Director David Brailsford, will be convinced to stay on in his position and continue to drive the team forward towards new challenges and goals.

    Hoy won gold in the team sprint and the keirin at this summer's Games, a double that enabled him to become Britain's most decorated Olympian with six career gold medals. All of them have come on Brailsford's watch in Athens (2004), Beijing and London, and the 36-year-old Hoy knows Brailsford better than most. Rumours are rife that Brailsford will relinquish his duties with Team GB and focus solely on his ambitions with Team Sky, who also made history this summer when Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the yellow jersey at the Tour de France. Hoy, who has been touted in some circles as Brailsford's potential successor, hopes that this is not the case.

    “There’s no sign he is going to leave - not that I’m aware of, anyway," Hoy told the Telegraph. "He’s done a great job of having this amazing success with Team Sky and the GB cycling team. I hope they want to keep hold of Dave and that he wants to stay.

    “He’s a huge personality and he’s been instrumental in everything that’s happened. He set it up so well. The team doesn’t quite run itself - that would be disrespectful to what Dave does - but he’s appointed so many fantastic people in the...

  • Meares, O'Grady join Australian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission

    A jubilant Anna Meares (Australia)
    Article published:
    August 13, 2012, 0:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Four year term for peer-voted role

    Anna Meares and Stuart O’Grady have been elected to a four-year term on the Australian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission.

    Eight new Commission members are elected by athletes at each summer Olympic Games with a further two elected at the winter Games.

    Meares goes back to Australia having won gold in the women’s sprint and bronze in the team sprint while O’Grady, competing in his sixth Olympic Games finished sixth in the men’s road race and was the five-man Australian team’s highest-placed finisher.

    Meares took to twitter following news of her election:

    "Just found out we @AnnaMeares & @stueyOG were elected to AOC athletes commission :) little bit proud. Athletes voted by athletes," she said.

    AOC Secretary-General Craig Phillips said the Athletes’ Commission plays an important part in the strategic planning of the Australian Olympic Committee.

    "We are delighted with the calibre of the people chosen by the athletes to represent them, and the AOC Executive looks forward to working with the Commission to ensure the needs of the athletes are always central to our decision making," he said.


  • Jessica Varnish looks to the future

    Jessica Varnish leads out Victoria Pendleton
    Article published:
    August 15, 2012, 16:31 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Looks ahead to Worlds

    After a disappointing Olympic Games, Jessica Varnish is ready to turn her attention to new goals. The 21-year-old was relegated alongside Victoria Pendleton in the Olympic team sprint and subsequently missed out on the chance of a medal. It brought Varnish’s Games to a premature end but despite the let down she is already aiming at the track world championships which take place next February.

    “I will definitely be going for the Worlds but what position and events, I’m not too sure. I’ve got to sit down with my coach and discuss what position would suit me best in the team sprint,” she told Cyclingnews.

    Varnish and Pendleton formed one of the most successful partnerships in track team sprinting but with the latter’s subsequent retirement from cycling, Varnish finds herself on the look out for a new teammate. The British Academy could be one scouting pool, while former track rider Shanaze Reade has publicly declared an interest in moving back to the track from her current role in BMX.

    “Obviously I have been training for man 1, but I’ve also got the best 500 meters time, so it just depends on what will be best for the team and where it will be best to put me and the other rider.”

    “I just want the fastest rider to race with. Shanaze has been thinking about coming back to the sprint but we’ve also got Rebecca James and Victoria Williams who is on the Under 23 Academy now.”

    Not that Varnish is looking to focus on one discipline. While her Olympics saw her compete in just the team sprint, she is a talented keirin and individual sprint rider in her own right. With Pendleton out of the frame, she may wish to mix disciplines as until now she has lacked the room to manoeuvre.

    “I’ll need to get more switched on with the individual events because obviously I’ve just been...

  • Wiggins and Keisse to race Gent Six Day together?

    Mark Cavendish, left, partnered with Bradley Wiggins in the Madison at the 2008 Olympic Games.
    Article published:
    September 07, 2012, 11:31 BST
    Cycling News

    Riders express mutual desire to pair up on track

    Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Iljo Keisse have exchanged messages over Twitter revealing they both would like to ride together at the legendary Gent Six Day track event taking place between November 20-25. Wiggins, who was born in Gent, Belgium, won the Six Day once, in 2003 with Matthew Gilmore, and Keisse, a multiple champion on the track, was part of the winning pair in Gent five times.

    "Saw on the internet that you want to ride the Gent six... Riding with you would be such an honour and a dream!" Keisse tweeted on Thursday. Wiggins' response came without delay: "Be a dream of mine, speak with Patrick [Sercu, the race organiser - ed.]."

    Keisse's last victory of the Six Day track racing event in the heart of Belgium came in 2010 with Peter Schep as a partner. While he also paired with Matthew Gilmore at the beginning of his career, he raced with Robert Bartko from 2006-2008 and then changed again to team up with Peter Schep. It is common practice in track racing to change partners, especially for the Six Days.

    Wiggins had expressed his desire to race the Gent Six Day again this year after his last participation in 2007, which saw him ride with Mark Cavendish but not achieve the final victory.

    Keisse returned to racing this year after sitting out a complicated ban for doping following a positive test at the Gent Six Day in November 2008. The Belgian federation banned him for two years, but then lifted that ban at the end of 2009 and he resumed racing. The UCI appealed that decision, and the CAS overturned it, confirming that Keisse was to sit out his entire ban. He was allowed to ride in all areas other than Belgium as of August 2011, but was only allowed to ride in Belgium...

  • Hoy, Kenny to ride at Rotterdam Six Day

    A triumphant Chris Hoy (Great Britain)
    Article published:
    September 25, 2012, 5:06 BST
    Cycling News

    Eleven-time world champion calls for more track cycling

    With six Olympic Games gold medals to his name, not to mention the 11 world titles, it seems only right that Sir Chris Hoy will headline the annual Sprinters Cup at the Rotterdam Six Day, to be held January 3-8.

    Hoy will ride against compatriot Jason Kenny, himself a dual Olympic gold medallist, with other competitors yet to be named.

    "With these two extremely agile British riders it promises a beautiful spectacle in Ahoy," said organiser Frank Boele. "We are working with more big names and expect soon to present a program that is will be unequalled in terms of sport and entertainment."

    Meantime Hoy has called for better promotion of track cycling, to leverage off the sport's exposure from the London Olympic Games.

    "It showed that people want to watch it live, that there is an appetite for track cycling. Now is the time to exploit this moment," he told Eurosport-Yahoo!

    "Track cycling should go further - there is definitely potential for a televised International Series to run alongside the World Cup events."


  • Meares contemplating Olympic future

    A jubilant Anna Meares (Australia)
    Article published:
    September 26, 2012, 2:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Sprint star expects strong challenges from Shuang and Vogel

    Multiple Olympic medallist Anna Meares is taking time out following her London campaign where she will consider her next competitive step.

    Having already competed in three Olympic campaigns, where she has earned two gold, one silver and two bronze medals, the 29-year-old is up in the air as to whether Rio 2016 is on the agenda. Meares believes that given she has come off one of her most emotional victories to date, where she defeated great rival Victoria Pendleton in the sprint, time is what is required.

    "I did the same thing after Beijing and it worked very well," Meares told AAP.

    "Our sport's quite a low impact sport so if you look after your body you can progress for a long time. It's just whether you want to or not.

    "You can be swayed by the emotions of successful or unsuccessful performances, the highs and adulations offered to you when you go home. If I answered that question now I'd say 'yeah, Rio'.

    "But I just want to make sure, because four years of (training and competing) physically and mentally, it's a big commitment."

    Despite Pendleton's retirement, Meares also said that she can expect challenges from China's Guo Shuang and Germany's Kristina Vogel.

    "I'm always learning, always challenged in a different way because everyone has a different strength," Meares explained.

    "What I worked out about how to race Vicky might not work with someone like Guo Shuang or Kristina Vogel."


  • Gilbert to open Ghent Six Days with individual pursuit match

    Philippe Gilbert flies around the track
    Article published:
    September 27, 2012, 21:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Road world champion to take on Gianni Meersman

    Recently crowned road world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) will kick off the 2012 edition of the Ghent Six Days with an individual pursuit contest, the race organisation announced today.

    Gilbert will go head-to-head in a 3km individual pursuit against compatriot and fellow road professional Gianni Meersman (Lotto Belisol) on the opening night, Tuesday, November 20. Gilbert took part in a similar race in 2011 in which he prevailed against Jurgen Roelandts.

    "We can not dream better than a Belgian world champion to open our Six Days," said race organiser Patrick Sercu. "Philippe has already been able to enjoy the atmosphere here last year and it has clearly pleased him. Ghent gets to see for the first time the rainbow jersey in action on our soil - a perfect start for our 90th anniversary edition."

    The 2012 Ghent Six Days takes place November 20-25 at the legendary Kuipke velodrome in Ghent, Belgium.

  • No Wiggins at the Ghent Six

    Article published:
    October 02, 2012, 17:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour de France winner too expensive for Sercu

    Patrick Sercu, the organiser of the Ghent Six Day race, has revealed that Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins will not ride this year's race between November 20-25 but is again predicting a packed velodrome for one of the most popular track events of the winter.

    Wiggins and Belgian track rider Iljo Keisse exchanged public Twitter messages about possibly riding together but Sercu admitted he did not have the budget to contract Wiggins for the race during the official presentation of the event in Ghent.

    "Wiggins suggested he wanted to ride and I contacted him but the financial picture was just too much for us. He was also a little tired after a long season," Gazet van Antwerpen reported Sercu as saying.

    "However the Ghent Six Day will be a major event. We'll keep the tradition of fans being able to stand [in the track centre] and they'll be the Future Six Day race – for Under 23 riders, and a women's event. The big event is of course the Elite men's race. I have 13 teams signed but I can't release any names yet."

    The Belgian press reported that Keisse will ride, as well 2012 Madison world champions Kenny De Ketele and Gijs Van Hoecke.

    The 2012-2013 Six Day season begins with the 6-Daagse van Amsterdam on October 15.