Track champions back on the road

After a long weekend of turning left in at the world track championships Los Angeles , top endurance...

After a long weekend of turning left in at the world track championships Los Angeles, top endurance track riders are planning to return to road racing as the season warms up. New Zealand's Greg Henderson, silver medalist in the scratch race and 2004 world champion in that discipline, will rejoin his Health Net team to prepare for next month's Tour of Georgia. According to the New Zealand Herald, Henderson says going from the shorter races on the track to the long stages of Georgia could be a tough - especially early in the race.

Meanwhile in the UK, two of Britain's very successful track world's team will return to their usual road duties this weekend. Mark Cavendish - half of Britain's Madison world champion pairing - and Ed Clancy - a member of the team pursuit squad that landed gold in LA - will be riding in the 100 strong field for the Archer International GP at Hazlemere, in the Chiltern Hills, Sunday, April 3.

Organisers describe the presence of Cavendish and Clancy as "a real coup" for the Archer GP, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It's the first of only three UCI Europe Tour races in the UK and this will be the first appearance on home soil of these representatives of the British track world's team which won four golds, a silver, and a bronze medal in LA.

To expect 19-year old Cavendish and 20-year old Clancy to go direct from specialist comparatively short distance track racing to the 116-mile road racing Chiltern challenge is asking a lot. However, the British management and coaching team appears confident that they can now build up to top placings in the under 23 world road championships later in the year.

The field of 100 starts from Hazlemere, Bucks, at 11am and covers two circuits in the Chiltern hills, to finish at about 3.30pm in Winchmore Hill village, near Amersham.

In addition to the Great Britain and Welsh national teams, there are teams from Belgium, Holland and three from Ireland, plus all the top trade and club teams in Britain.

Likely favourites will be Julian Winn (Wales) and John Tanner (Planet X) who were first and second last year, plus Malcolm Elliott (Pinarello RT) winner of the Premier Series last year. Tanner is the leader of the 2005 Premier Series after the first event at Easter, the Girvan Three-day, in which he was second overall, but with more Premier points from the three stages.

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