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First Edition Track Cycling News, Saturday, January 9, 2010

Date published:
January 09, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Europeans react to Olympic track changes

    German Roger Kluge has signed with ProTour team Milram for 2010
    Article published:
    December 12, 2009, 16:29 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Keisse, Bartko, Kluge disappointed, BDR prepares to challenge top track women

    European riders have reacted to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Cycling Union's (UCI) shake-up of the Olympic track program. Belgian and German riders directly affected by the changes had expressed their disappointment with the decision.

    On Friday, the IOC approved changes to the Olympic track cycling programme that will see gender equality of medals from the London 2012 Games onwards. The men's Madison, points race and individual pursuit will be replaced by a women's keirin, as well as men's and women's omnium events.

    Belgium had been one of the most vocal opponents to the proposed changes. Belgian Madison rider Iljo Keisse was informed of the IOC's decision two hours before his first event at the UCI track World Cup round in Cali, Colombia and the 26-year-old was quick to express his disappointment.

    "This decision was taken by people too far from our sport," Keisse told Het Laatste Nieuws. "And this decision has been made right in between two Olympic Games; this is not only a disaster for Belgium, but for track cycling in general. If Olympic gold, still the highest award available in track cycling, is not a possibility, what effect does it have?"

    Keisse said that although the Madison would remain a World Championship event, the Olympic decision could see him abandon the track altogether in order to focus on a career on the road.

    "It remains part of Worlds, but that does not have the prestige of the Olympics. The events now left in the Olympics, the omnium and the team pursuit, are not my desired events," he said. "It's just as well I've now signed with Quick-Step; perhaps I am now headed in that direction. With the changes, the Six-day events no longer aim towards the [Olympics]."

    Keisse's Six-day colleagues and Olympic medallists in two of the events removed from the program, Germans Robert Bartko and Roger Kluge, have also expressed their disappointment at the decision to...

  • Revolution 5 a battle of Australia's best

    Shane Perkins celebrates victory in Melbourne
    Article published:
    December 15, 2009, 4:24 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    World champions and international track stars to shine in Melbourne

    The fifth round of Australia's Revolution series promises to be a battle of the disciplines, with track sprinting stars such as Shane Perkins and Azizul Awang pitted against some of the nation's best endurance riders such as Cameron Meyer and Jack Bobridge in the night's showcase event, the 112th Urban St Kilda Austral Wheelrace.

    Bobridge, the Under 23 time trial world champion, has quickly built a reputation as a fierce competitor and will bring this onto the boards at Hisense Arena on December 16. In his heat for the Austral, a handicap race over 2000m, Bobridge will be riding off scratch alongside defending champion Shane Perkins, with rising stars Rohan Dennis starting 20 metres ahead and Travis Meyer taking off 30 metres ahead.

    "I've got Perkins, Rohan and Travis, so we'll be right," said Bobridge. The young South Australian, who will ride for Garmin-Transitions next year, was surprised to hear that New Zealand's Tom Scully, who won two gold medals at the recent Track World Cup round in Melbourne, will also be in his heat but riding with a 50 metre head start. "Gee, they’ve looked after him alright," said Bobridge.

    He was even more surprised when told Cameron Meyer would be in the heat before him and getting a 20 metre head start. "Cam got 20 metres. The world points race champion got 20 metres. Gees," he added.

    Bobridge certainly has his work cut out; in addition to Perkins and the Meyer brothers, the likes of Rabobank professional Graeme Brown, emerging Australian endurance stars Rohan Dennis, Luke Durbridge and Glenn O'Shea plus New Zealand sprinter Sam Webster and Malaysian fast man Azizul Awang will be contending for a place in the final of one of Australia's best-loved races.

    For more information, and tickets, see: www.ticketek.com.au or call 132 849

  • UCI announces beefed up Olympic omnium format

    The men's scratch race action.
    Article published:
    December 17, 2009, 20:58 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Full length individual pursuits, elimination races added

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced today the final format for the newly introduced track cycling omnium which will take the place of the Madison, Individual pursuit and Points race in the Olympic Games.

    The UCI Track Commission made changes to the format, bringing the five-race format used at the World Championships since 2007 to six and placing more emphasis on endurance races.

    The 200m time trial will be changed to a 250m flying lap, eliminating the standing start which favors pure sprinters. The Points races will be increased to 30km for men and 20km for women, up from 15km and 10km, respectively.

    The Individual pursuits will be run at the traditional Olympic distances, 4km for men, 3km for women, rather than the omnium distances 3km and 2km, respectively.

    The Olympic omnium will maintain the Scratch races, doubling the distance to 15 and 10km from the current format and add an Elimination race as the final endurance event. Twenty-four riders will start the Elimination race, with the last rider over the line being eliminated every two laps.

    The changes will come into effect for non-Olympic competitions after the World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark (March 24-28, 2010).

    The omnium is one of the five events of the Olympic track cycling programme together with the individual sprint, team sprint, keirin and team pursuit. An equal number of medals will be awarded to men and women in track cycling at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

    New Omnium format
    - Flying lap (250-metre time trial)
    - Points race (men: 30 km, women: 20 km)
    - Individual pursuit (men: 4 km, women: 3 km)
    - Scratch race (men: 15 km, women: 10 km)
    - Kilometre time trial (men), 500-metre time trial (women)
    - Elimination race (24 starters)

  • Hoy willing to cut events to ensure Olympic Gold

    Chris Hoy (Sky+ HD) in full flight.
    Article published:
    December 23, 2009, 8:29 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Olympic champion won't compete if he can't win it

    British track star Chris Hoy has said that he will ride in fewer events in the London 2012 Olympics to ensure that he wins gold. He would rather bring home one gold medal than three silver or bronze, he said.

    Hoy won three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, in the Sprint, Keirin and Team Sprint, and one gold in the Kilometre at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

    The 33-year-old expects London to be his final Olympic appearance, and he would like to defend all three of his gold medals. However, he will not do so until he is sure of winning.

    "It's a risk and something you have to be aware of but I wouldn't be entering a race unless I had the belief I was going to win it," Hoy said Tuesday, according to the AFP. "It's still quite a long time to the Olympics and anything can happen.

    "At the moment, I plan to go for all three and it'd be lovely to defend all three titles but I wouldn't risk losing a gold medal for the sake of having three bronzes or three silvers.

    "It's about winning gold medals and I'd rather have one gold medal than three silvers."

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) have changed the line-up of track events for London, to make things more equal for male and female riders. “It's great news” for fellow Briton Victoria Pendleton, Hoy said. She will go for gold in two of the events added for women, as well as attempting to defend her sprint gold.

    "It's something she's been outspoken about and quite rightly so, to try and get the parity between men and women,” he said.

    But the news was not so good for others in the British program, whose events have been scrapped. "I can really empathise with people like Rebecca Romero, Bradley Wiggins, Steven Burke, Wendy Houvenaghel, Olympic medallists in events which are not going to be there in two-and-a half-years time,” Hoy said.

     

  • Tassie Christmas Carnivals get funding boost

    Scott Law takes out the men's A Grade scratch race, as Ben Kersten and Po Hung watch on.
    Article published:
    December 30, 2009, 1:47 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    New four year state funding announced

    Tasmania’s State Government has announced it will increase funding for the state’s Christmas Carnivals by 50 percent after renewing its commitment to the series for another four years. The annual carnivals include athletics and wood chopping events, but the primary draw-card is a series of track races including International Cycling Union (UCI) ranked events.

    Premier David Bartlett has announced the new deal with Sports Carnivals Association of Tasmania (SCAT) will see its total expenditure of $400,000 from the last four years increased to $600,000 for the next four years. Bartlett said he wants to preserve the tradition of the Carnivals and increase security of future series.

    “Our current four-year support arrangement is about to expire and I don’t want to see a repeat of the situation where this year’s Latrobe Carnival nearly didn’t go ahead due to difficulty in securing sponsorship,” said Bartlett. “The Carnivals are too important a part of Tasmania’s summer culture to see them under threat and I am confident this increased financial support from the State Government will relieve some of the pressure on the member clubs and allow them to start planning the 2010-11 series with confidence.”

    Sport and Recreation Minister Michelle O’Byrne said the new funds were a significant increase over the present funding model and would help ensure the success of the Carnivals into the future.

    “This new funding allocation will be shared among all the Carnivals held under the SCAT umbrella, just as it is now,” O’Byrne said. “The Government also wants to keep working with SCAT to address some of the long-term sustainability issues facing the Carnivals and use these additional funds wisely to see that the series not only survives but prospers.”

    O’Byrne said the State’s smart economic management throughout the past 12 months has...

  • 2009 Reader Poll: Twice is nice for Pendleton

    Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain) wears the rainbow jersey and gold medal earned through winning the women's sprint event in Pruszkow, Poland.
    Article published:
    January 05, 2010, 16:14 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Simms

    Briton repeats as best female track rider

    Victoria Pendleton, MBE may not have equalled her multiple world championship performances of the past two years, but the Bedfordshire native showed who was boss in the sprint in 2009.

    It was a tough post-Olympic year for many of the British riders, who had to balance a demanding public schedule on top of their training. Pendleton carried her Olympicgold medal-winning form through the '08 World Cup opener in Manchester, but then took an extended break from competition emerging only to take the sprint in the final World Cup in Copenhagen in February 2009.

    The lack of competition showed in the close-fought World Championship sprint final with Dutchwoman Willy Kanis, with several rounds going to photo finishes. Her victory was achieved through her pure force of will and determination and support of her British national team.

    After her win in the sprint in the World Championships, and a close second behind the Australians in the team sprint, Pendleton refocused her energy on the 2009-2010 season and came home with gold in the sprint and silver in the 500m time trial in Manchester last fall.

    Pendleton's prowess in competition and her popularity at home and abroad has not waned in the years since she took her first world title in 2005, and that is reflected in her second win in the Cyclingnews Reader Poll in this category.

    The Briton earned a solid 673 points more than the affable Australian Anna Meares, who continued her comeback from a 2008 injury to claim five World Cup golds since the Olympic Games and a set of rainbow bands for the world record setting women's team sprint with Kaarle McCulloch.

    A distant third was New Zealander Alison Shanks who wowed the world with her crushing victory over Briton Wendy Houvenaghel in the individual pursuit in Pruszkow last March.

    2009 Best Female Track Rider

    1. Victoria Pendleton: 4703
    2. Anna Meares:4030
    3. Alison...

  • 2009 Reader Poll: Despite injury, Sir Chris Hoy tops track poll

    Chris Hoy (Sky+ HD) on his way to victory in the men's sprint at the Manchester World Cup.
    Article published:
    January 05, 2010, 17:26 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    British powerhouse muscles ahead of popular Phinney

    2009 had to be one of Sir Chris Hoy's toughest years to date. He juggled a hectic schedule of public appearances after his stellar Olympic performances, and competed in just one World Cup in Copenhagen in the 2008-2009 season. While he was able to help his British team score gold in the team sprint, he crashed in the Keirin and was seriously injured.

    To put it politely, he separated his skin from his gluteal muscles, an injury from which it took him three months to recover. For a rider who normally busts butt in a different way, missing the World Championships was a bitter dose of reality.

    Yet with the same steady work he's been putting in for years, Hoy brought himself back into form in time to win two British titles in the Sprint and Keirin, then repeat that performance a week later in the Manchester World Cup, adding a team sprint gold to boot.

    Hoy's popularity amongst our readers may be strong, but the rise of American Taylor Phinney has been equally impressive. Coming in 1182 votes behind Hoy, Phinney has a way to go before he tops our poll, but at 18 years of age he has plenty of time.

    Phinney became the first US rider to win a world championship in the men's individual pursuit since Mike McCarthy in 1992, and the first male US trackie to don rainbow bands since Marty Nothstein won the Keirin in 1996.

    He went on to claim silver in the kilometre time trial - a discipline usually reserved for specialists. His promise and his passion brought him to second place on our reader poll.

    Cyclingnews reader poll results - Best male track rider

    1. Chris Hoy: 6598
    2. Taylor Phinney: 5416
    3. Alex Rasmussen: 562
    4. Leigh Howard: 377
    5. Chris Newton: 244
    6. Jesse Sergent: 215
    7. Roger Kluge: 203
    8. Gregory Bauge: 184
    9. Shane Perkins: 177
    10. Stefan Nimke: 94

  • Italian federation partners with FSA

    blank
    Article published:
    January 09, 2010, 17:34 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Component manufacturer to support to track programme until 2012

    The Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) has agreed to a deal with component manufacturer Full Speed Ahead (FSA) that will see the company provide material support to the nation's track team until 2012.

    The agreement with FSA marks a period of track cycling development undertaken by the FCI that will see new velodromes built in Turin and Treviso over the next four years. It also serves to reinforce the nation's commitment to track cycling at an World Championship and Olympic level.

    "This agreement with FSA is very important for us," said Renato Di Rocco, President of Italian Cycling Federation. "The great professionalism and high tech products of the company will join forces with the Italian Track Teams in order to create a strong synergy.

    "Although there was a change in Olympic track disciplines for London 2011, the message that we want to pass is that the track is not a rival of road races: race riders can obtain some advantages thanks to the flexibility of this activity."

    Liquigas rider Ivan Basso was on hand for the signing of the agreement and echoed the sentiment of his national federation's president, specifically citing the value of the covered velodrome in Montichiari, northern Italy to his preparations for the road.

    "I have been collaborating with FSA for some years now, and during the time this collaboration has become a close friendship. The agreement between FCI and an important company like Full Speed Ahead, with excellent products and a perfect technical assistance, will be a great success," Basso said.

    "For me and other road riders, the opportunity to use a covered velodrome is really important: it allows the training during winter and the specific preparation for time trial races."

    The two groups signed the agreement at FSA's European office, near Milan. Di Rocco joined FSA's General Manager Claudio Marra for a ceremony also attended by Basso, Felice Gimondi and Italian track coaches Andra...