European Track Championships presented

On Thursday evening, June 16, the European Track Championships were presented in Bergamo. The Championships take place on July 3-4 on the Dalmine velodrome and will see 13 nations (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and Hungary) competing in three categories: Junior, U23, and Elite. Only the Derny and the Madison titles will be decided.

Among the riders confirmed to start are Swiss Franco Marvulli, World Madison Champion in 2003 and silver medalist in the same discipline at the 2004 Athens Olympics and World Championships; Slovakians Martin Liska and Jozef Zabka; and Italians Marco Villa, Samuele Marzoli, and Ivan Quaranta.

Newly appointed Italian national team supervisor Silvio Martinello is hoping that the European Championships in Bergamo will kick off a rejuvenation of Italian track cycling. "We want to start a number of initiatives to relaunch the popular culture of track, and also to reinvigorate the development centres. A project that I can make a concrete contribution to and relaunch the whole movement that has been lost in an identity crisis, but doesn't lack the potential to come back to excellence...Now is the best moment to enter the fray."

The program

Day 1 - July 3

20.30-21:00: Derny qualification, 55 laps
22:10: B final, 60 laps
22:50: European Derny Championship final, 80 laps
23:30: Presentation

Day 2 - July 4

20:30: Junior Madison, 80 laps
21:20: U23 Madison, 110 laps
22:30: Elite Madison, 130 laps

Stephen Roche Grand Prix next week

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

Dundrum is synonymous with the name Stephen Roche, who carved out a piece of cycling history in 1987, winning the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and the World Championship. But his roots are very much in evidence with a beautiful piece of sculpture in the shape of a wheel in the centre of Dundrum, which is now a thriving place thanks to the new centre, which also sponsors the local cycling club, Orwell Wheelers.

On Wednesday, June 22, the annual Stephen Roche Grand Prix will be held in Meadowmount, starting at 7:30pm. The race features a generous prize list, courtesy of the Dundrum Shopping Centre, and will be staged by the Orwell Cycling Club. It's an ideal opportunity for the general public to see the cyclists in action on a closed circuit and watch the tactics that go into criterium racing. The circuit is one mile in length and every so often there are lap prizes for the first across the line.

Hopefully, Stephen may put in an appearance, but given the time constraints involved with the Tour de France beginning in the first week of July, it may not be possible.

With the National Championships on Sunday week, it is interesting to note that Mark Scanlon has indicated that he will be on the start line. Last year, Mark opted out of the defence of his title because of his impending debut in the Tour de France!

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