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Track Cycling News & Racing Round-up, Thursday, November 18, 2010

Date published:
November 18, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Dale Parker stood down after drink driving incident

    Dale Parker (SA) collects his medal for the under 19 men's omnium
    Article published:
    November 07, 2010, 15:02 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Commonwealth gold medallist withdrawn immediately from all competition

    Australian Commonwealth gold medallist Dale Parker has been stood down from all competition and charged with drink driving following an incident in South Australia on Friday that left a friend hospitalized.

    Parker, 18, had allegedly been doing a burn-out when the car he was driving crashed into a street light which then struck a 17 year-old male. The injured teenager was admitted to hospital with serious head injuries. He is reported to be a friend of Parker.

    Parker, who holds a provisional driving licence, recorded a blood alcohol level of 0.098, according to The Herald Sun. The newspaper reported that Police charged Parker with drink driving and enforced an on-the-spot disqualification from driving for six months.

    Last month Parker won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India as part of the Australian men's 4000 metre team pursuit squad. Following the incident on Friday night, he was immediately stood down from all competition by his state federation, Cycling South Australia, for bringing cycling into disrepute.

    "It's not an error of judgement, this is a snap decision to drive home while under the influence and he will pay a huge price for it," said Cycling SA's executive Max Stevens, according to ABC News.

    "There is no question whatsoever, Dale Parker is a stupid young man. Everyone concerned is extremely disappointed and our main focus at the moment is the young man that is in hospital."

    In addition to the Police investigation already in progress, Cycling SA said that it will carry out its own investigation into the incident.

    "He's one of probably the best cyclists that we have produced in recent years and it would be ringing in his ears what has happened," said Stevens.

    "He is aware he has made a huge mistake to drive while under the influence and he unfortunately will go through the process like anyone else."

  • Thomas to lead strong Team Sky in Revolution

    Best young rider Geraint Thomas (Sky Professional Cycling Team)
    Article published:
    November 09, 2010, 11:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Sky looks to defend lead in British track series

    Geraint Thomas will lead Team Sky at the next Revolution track event in Manchester later this month. He will be joined by Sky teammates Ben Swift and Pete Kennaugh for the endurance events at the Revolution 30 on November 20.

    "I'm looking forward to getting on the track and racing as Team Sky at Revolution," Thomas said. "It's great that the event has evolved and I think the team idea is good. It will change the way we approach the racing so we'll all be focused on keeping Sky at the top of the table."

    The British ProTour team leads the championships after Sir Chris Hoy dominated the sprints at the opening round on October 23. The next Revolution will focus on endurance events.

    The endurance events will feature a host of the world's top six-day riders, including Michael Mørkøv, Alex Rasmussen, Franco Marvulli, Leif Lampater, Christian Grassmann and Sebastian Donadio.

    "There are some great European guys coming over for the occasion but I'm just going to enjoy it," Thomas said. "Revolution will be a good way for me to get back in the track mindset against some top riders. I'm already thinking ahead to the World Cup in February and this will help me figure out where my form is now, and where it needs to be."

    Thomas, 24, won the British national road race title this year. Riding his second career Tour de France in 2010, he finished second on the third stage, and wore the white jersey for best young rider for four stages. He has won multiple word titles on the track and won the gold medal for team pursuit at the 2008 Olympics.

  • Keisse free to race Gent Six Day after doping suspension suspended

    Iljo Keisse speaks about his first night back racing in Gent, after a year to forget.
    Article published:
    November 12, 2010, 17:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian court temporarily overturns CAS decision

    The Belgian Court of Appeals in Brussels has overturned a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which handed Iljo Keisse a two-year suspension for a 2008 doping positive, allowing his return in time for his home Six Day in Gent, Sporza reported today.

    The court decided the 27-year-old Belgian should be free to race pending a final decision in April.

    Keisse tested positive for Cathine and Hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) in a sample taken at the 2008 Gent Six Day, which Keisse won with partner Robert Bartko.

    Keisse successfully argued that the positive for Cathine came from a cold medicine and HCT from a food supplement, and his doping charges were dismissed by the Belgian federation one year ago, just before the 2009 Gent Six Day. Keisse was reunited with Bartko for the race last year, and came second to the Danish pair of Alex Rasmussen and Michael Mørkøv.

    He signed with Quick Step for the 2010 road season, but his season was first interrupted by a broken collarbone sustained while warming up for the track world championships, then by the decision from CAS in July which reversed the Belgian federation's dismissal of his doping charges.

    Keisse was to have served the last 13 months of his suspension after sitting out for 11 months following his positive. He was not to return until August 6, 2011.

  • Keisse looking forward to special Gent Six Day

    Full circle: Iljo Keisse was back in action on home turf, having experienced a difficult year.
    Article published:
    November 13, 2010, 9:34 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Belgian can ride again after court temporarily lifts suspension

    Iljo Keisse is looking forward to riding the Gent Six Day after the Belgian Court of Appeals temporarily lifted his doping-related suspension. The court overturned a decision by the Court of Appeal for Sport, with a final decision due in April.

    “I will ride the Six-Day with a very special and warm feeling,” Keisse said, according to the Belga news agency. “I'm more than relieved that I can ride again. Unfortunately the decision is not final, but I'm satisfied with what I have.”

    Keisse tested positive for Cathine and Hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) at the 2008 Gent Six Day, which he won with partner Robert Bartko. He argued that the Cathine came from a cold medication and the HCT from a tainted food supplement.

    The charges were dismissed by the Belgian cycling federation, but the CAS reversed that decision this summer and issued the ban which was to run through August 2011.

    Keisse knows that riding again will be difficult. "It is mentally and physically a very difficult race. . Indeed, I have a difficult period behind me. Since July I could not race. There were some days which I didn't touch my bike, I had an Achilles injury and some incredible black moments.”

    Keisse will have extra motivation because his first child, Jules, was born earlier this month. “It's difficult to say how I will feel. I will have to ride with the support of the audience, the adrenaline and the feeling of becoming a father,” he said.

    Race organizer applauds decision

    Patrick Sercu, the director of the Gent Six Day was pleased with the court's ruling. "This is not only great news for the organizers of the Ghent Six Day, but especially for Iljo Keisse himself," he said Sercu.

    “The public's favourite is now back,” he continued. “This is actually a very good thing. It has all been long and drawn out, but now it has finally...

  • Pendleton says track success more difficult for females

    Victoria Pendleton earned the only women's sprint gold medal available in Beijing. She will be able to contest 3 golds in London in 2012.
    Article published:
    November 16, 2010, 14:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    British track star prefers training to racing

    Victoria Pendleton is facing the same problem as many women in other pursuits: being a woman in a man's world. No matter how successful she is, she feels things are harder for her simply because she is female.

    “I work in a very male-oriented environment and it is hard sometimes,” she said on “Nobody has ever told me I cannot do anything but you have to do it in a very masculine way. You have to be harder, tougher, develop a thicker skin and emotions have to be pushed to one side — you can't cry. When I do, I have to apologise, say: I'm sorry everyone, I'm just having an emotional day'.”

    She continued, “people don't take me quite as seriously as they would Sir Chris Hoy. I get frustrated that my voice isn't as well heard as others. To get my point across, I have to push it a little bit harder. I was talent-spotted at 16 and people still see me as that teenage girl.”

    The 30-year-old is a highly successful track rider, having won the gold medal in the sprint at the 2008 Olympics and a total of eight world titles over the years. She is also highly in demand by advertisers.

    Pendleton doesn't deny her femininity, saying she likes cooking and sewing, as well as pretty clothes. “It's nice to get dressed up and look pretty. I don't think there are many girls out there who wouldn't enjoy that. I'm still a girl at the end of the day.”

    She credits her father with pushing her to where she is today. Her twin brother and older sister were also cyclists, but stopped racing at age 16. “That's when you have to race with grown men. It's a big step, quite hard, and they did not have the enthusiasm to keep up the training.”

    Her father then concentrated his attention on her. “Dad pushed me; wanted me to fulfil my potential, and I wouldn't have got to where I've got to without him.”

    Oddly enough, she prefers...

  • Wong survives serious crash to claim Asian Games silver

    Women's points race silver medalist Wan Yiu Wong (Hong Kong, China), who crashed during the final while leading on points, is taken from the podium via wheelchair.
    Article published:
    November 16, 2010, 20:47 GMT
    Cycling News

    Hong Kong rider propped up on women's points race podium

    On the fourth day of track racing at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, multiple crashes marred the 20km women's points race final won by Xin Liu (People's Republic of China). The worst of the incidents involved five riders, including Wan Yiu Wong (Hong Kong, China) who was leading on points at the time. The Hong Kong rider persevered to win a silver medal, but was clearly in pain on the podium and may have broken multiple ribs as a result of her crash.

    "I never thought to give up," Wong said according to Reuters. "The women's point race won't be an event in the 2012 London Olympic Games, so this is the last time for me to compete for a gold medal in the women's points race in big games like the Asian Games. It is very important to me."

    Five of the 17 starters in the points race final were unable to finish due to injuries, including Wong's teammate Xiao Juan Diao who was leading the race with 28 points at the time of the crash. She suffered a dislocated shoulder.

    The points race gold medalist, China's Xin Liu, said no one was at fault in the crash involving Wong.

    "Crashes often happen," she said. ""It wasn't caused by someone doing something deliberate."

    The only other final on day four involved the men's 4,000m team pursuit in which South Korea topped Hong Kong, China for gold by nearly three seconds, 4:07.875 to 4:10.859. The People's Republic of China bested Iran for the bronze medal.

  • Keisse to pair with Schep in Gent Six Day

    Iljo Keisse addresses the Gent crowd.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2010, 3:19 GMT
    Cycling News

    Recently overturned suspension allows hometown star to start

    Belgian Iljo Keisse is set to return to his hometown Six Day in Gent, Belgium next week, and will be paired up with Dutch rider Peter Schep.

    Schep, 33, has two Six Day victories to his name, one in 2006 in Amsterdam with Danny Stam, and the 2009 Rotterdam Six Day with Juan Llaneras.

    Keisse, who signed with Quick Step for the road season, has been out since July, when the Court of Arbitration for Sport reversed the Belgian Federation's decision to dismiss doping charges against him. Last week, a Belgian appeals court temporarily reversed the CAS decision, opening the door for Keisse to return to competition until a final decision is issued in April.

    The case stems from the 2008 Gent Six Day, which Keisse won with German Robert Bartko. On the final day, Keisse submitted a doping control sample which later tested positive for two banned substances, Cathine and Hydrochlorothiazide (HCT), but blamed the positives on cold medicine and a dietary supplement.

    "A burden was lifted from my shoulders when I heard that my suspension had been suspended," Keisse said during the presentation of the Gent Six Day. "But another burden is now in its place, that of having to perform. That was never much of a problem in the past, but the situation is different now because I've had so little preparation.

    "Keep in mind that I have not raced since June, and Gent is my first Six Day," Keisse said, warning that he was unsure of how his form would be. "After the first Madison next Tuesday, no, after the first hour, I'll know more."

    Keisse is immensely popular in his hometown, despite the protracted doping case. The 27-year-old first won the Gent Six Day in 2005, when paired with Mathew Gilmore. The next year, he was on his way to victory with Robert Bartko when the final night was canceled because of the death of Isaac Galvez.

    He and Bartko won in 2007, and their victory in 2008 is still pending the outcome of Keisse's doping...

  • Hoy heads to Melbourne for Track World Cup

    Chris Hoy (Great Britain) won the gold medal in the men's Keirin.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2010, 5:22 GMT
    Cycling News

    "Sir Chris" leads British contingent aiming for Olympic points

    Sir Chris Hoy is aiming to put a disappointing European Track Championships behind him as the UCI Track World Cup Classics begin with the Melbourne round on December 2-5, the Scottish veteran leading a strong British contingent to Australia.

    Hoy was eliminated in the sprint event at the European Track Championships in the round of 16, beaten by Irish rider Felix English after miscalculating the finish. Despite the mishap, he rode an impressive 200m time of 9.999 in the qualifying rounds and goes into the Melbourne event focused on picking up points for London Olympic qualification.

    "We're looking to try and score as many points as possible this season to secure qualification for London 2012 as early as we can," said Hoy. "This means I'll be attending the World Cups in Melbourne, Cali and Manchester plus the World Championships in Holland.

    "The simplest way for us to qualify GB a place in all three sprint events is through the team sprint, as each country automatically gets a sprint and keirin place when they qualify a team sprint place.

    "Our Olympic qualification is centred around the team sprint, so individual performances in relation to qualifying GB places for London aren't hugely important in that respect [winning individual sprint events].

    "Obviously from a personal perspective I would have liked to have been successful in the sprint at the European Championships, but the reason for that was simply an error of judgement rather than a lack of form.

    "I'm riding the sprint in Cali so look forward to getting my teeth into that event out there, but before then I've got the keirin and team sprint in Melbourne to focus on."

    Hoy knows that his miscalculation against English was a blip on the radar and he's remaining focused on the big picture of riding consistently strong times against the likes of Frenchmen Kevin Sireau and Michael D'Almeida, teammate Jason Kenny and Germany's Robert Förstemann.