The British Cycling community is mourning the loss of promising young cyclo-cross racer Charlie Craig from Derbyshire. The 15-year-old son of former national champion Nick Craig died in his sleep on Friday night.
"Yesterday, our world fell apart," Nick Craig wrote on Facebook. "Our beautiful lovely little boy Charlie went to sleep but never woke up. I don't know what else to write just now, but he will be with his little angel niece."
Charlie Craig was 15, and won this season's National Trophy Cyclocross Series at the under-16 level.
British Cycling programmes director, Andy Harrison, expressed his condolences in a press release. "Charlie was a promising young rider who had his whole life ahead of him. Everyone involved with the team is devastated by this news and, naturally, all of our thoughts are with Charlie's family."
The last time Charlie Craig rode up past our house and we shouted "stick a mile on" should not have been the Last time. Never forgotten. X pic.twitter.com/FIlHotBfRS— Rob Hayles (@robhayles1) January 23, 2017
Sho-Air takes title sponsor role with Twenty20
The US women's Twenty20 team announced today that Sho-Air International has moved up to the title sponsor role for this season. Last season, the team raced as Twenty20-RideBiker, and the RideBiker Alliance will continue its partnership with the team, which is focusing its efforts on developing riders for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
"I am grateful to Scott Tedro and his Sho-Air brand for their continued support of the team," commented Twenty20 General Manager, Nicola Cranmer. "As both an entrepreneur and investor, Scott understands the direction of the moving needle of women's cycling and that momentum matches what he and his company are looking for."
The team is currently in Australia, having taken part in the Santos Women's Tour, and will remain there for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Riders will also take part in the UCI Track World Cup in Los Angeles on February 25-26 in preparation for April 12-16 UCI Track World Championships in Hong Kong.
Sho-Air Twenty20 for 2017: Hannah Arensman, Sofia Arreola, Holly Breck, Larissa Connors, Chloe Dygert, Annie Foreman-Mackey, Jasmin Glaesser, Nina Laughlin, Shayna Powless, Steph Roorda, Gretchen Stumhofer, Leah Thomas, Jamie Whitmore.
Synergy Baku focusing on developing Azeri riders
The UCI Continental Synergy Baku team from Azerbaijan is focusing its efforts in 2017 on developing its Azeri riders. Seven have remained on the team, and former Russian-registered Kirill Pozdnyakov has taken on citizenship in Azerbaijan. Josip Rumac (Croatia) is now the only non-Azeri rider in the team.
Pozdnyakov, winner of the Tour of Szeklerland and third overall in the Tour of Slovakia said, "Becoming an Azeri citizen is a huge honour for me. I look forward to bringing in UCI points for the country and thus doing something for the people of Azerbaijan in thanks. The national team already has good riders and when I join them, we will have a strong team which will work together for success."
National champion Maksym Averin, who competed for Azerbaijan in both the Olympics and the World Championships, is joined by fellow veteran Elchin Asadov, and young riders Elgun Alizada, Enver Asanov, Kanan Gahramanli, Ismail Iliasov and Samir Jabrayilov. The only new rider to the team is 18-year-old Musa Mikayilzade.
Once again, the team's highlight will be its homeland race. The Tour d'Azerbaidjan is again scheduled for May 3-7 in 2017.
"We appreciate the work done by our foreign riders in the past," said Farhad Aliyev, General Secretary of the Azerbaijan Cycling Federation, "but now it is time to concentrate on our Azeri riders. The young riders are showing great promise, and with Kirill now an Azeri, he and our other veterans will lead us to success and the youngsters to a big future."
"Cycling is booming in our country, not only with the Tour d'Azerbaidjan. We now have a women's amateur team, and there is also a new factory developing and producing bikes. The Ministry and the Federation will be able to distribute bikes to schools and clubs. I think this initiative will open up great opportunities for the development of cycling in Azerbaijan."
Synergy Baku Cycling Project for 2017: Elgun Alizada, Elchin Asadov, Enver Asanov, Maksym Averin, Kanan Gahramanli, Ismail Iliasov, Samir Jabrayilov, Musa Mikayilzade, Kirill Pozdnyakov and Josip Rumac.