Impey claims seventh South African time trial title - News Shorts

Tour Down Under winner Daryl Impey continued his run of good form, taking out a record seventh national championship time trial title at the South African championships in Oudtshoorn on Wednesday.

Impey topped Dimension Data's Ryan Gibbons by 2:17 over the 43.8km course, with the third-place finisher Rohan de Ploy a distant 6:49 behind.

"It is always nice to win the time trial, every year there is always a bit more pressure," Impey said in a Mitchelton-Scott press release. "I was confident after Down Under that I would come here and be able to do a good ride, it was really hard and I am super happy with it."

The region was in the midst of a heat wave, with temperatures soaring over 36°C, taxing even those acclimated to hot weather.

"It was so hot compared to other years and I think the competition felt that. It was around 36 degrees at 2:30 in the afternoon," Impey said. "I started off quite fast and hard but kind of blew up a little bit towards the end, but I think I still paced it quite well."

Fortunately, cooler weather is due for Saturday's road races, which Impey hopes to finally claim for the first time in his career.

"The road race is something I have never won, so there is always pressure from myself to try and win. It is important to try and win it eventually, but it is hard. I know the odds are stacked against me with all the teams and their numbers.

"I am hoping to carry some form from Down Under and hopefully do something special on Saturday, we will see, it is always difficult to say what will happen."

Routes for Road European Championships announced

The road race and time trial route have been confirmed for this year’s European Road Championships in Glasgow.

The road race will have a distinctly familiar look to it as it follows a similar route through the centre of town to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which were won by Lizzie Deignan and Geraint Thomas. The day will begin in the Glasgow Green before heading out toward Queen Street Station and over toward the West End. It’s a rolling parcours with plenty of places to attack and could see a solo victor or a small group sprint.

For the time trial, the organisers have opted for something drastically different to the Commonwealth Games offering four years ago. It will begin by the Riverside Museum but will then head out of the city toward East Dunbartonshire and Stirling before turning back toward Glasgow and finishing on the Glasgow Green. The women’s route will not go as far as Stirling, cutting across the course at Milngavie. There are a few sharp rises along both courses, but it remains relatively flat most of the way around.

Alexander Kristoff and Marianne Vos won the road races at last year’s European Championships in Herning, Denmark, while Ellen Van Dijk and Victor Campenaerts claimed the time trial titles. All four would stand a strong chance of retaining their titles over these courses.

Nippo-Vini Fantini get Amstel Gold wildcard

Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini have been awarded one of the final two wildcards for the Amstel Gold Race, organisers have confirmed. They will be the only Italian squad on the start line, with Bardiani-CSF missing out this year, and join Roompot Nederlandse Loterij, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Aqua Blue Sport and Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise as wildcard entries.

The Dutch race will be the final major Classic for 2008 Amstel Gold Race winner Damiano Cunego, who is set to retire before the summer. Cunego had hoped to call time on his career after a final Giro d’Italia, but Nippo-Vini Fantini missed out on an invitation for the second year running. While Cunego is a former winner, the team will be looking to Marco Canola to deliver the results.

“It is a big honour for us to be back in this great race, a monument of cycling in the North of Europe. We will try to do our best as a team. We want to glorify a champion like Damiano Cunego that is going to close his career during this season, and so he will ride his last Amstel Gold Race after winning the race in 2008,” said team manager Francesco Pelosi.

“We will be competitive from a sporting point of view with our leader Marco Canola. The road fits his characteristics and with the ones of our best riders. For this reason, we really want to thanks the organizers of the race that decided to give this important opportunity to the team and to our riders. We will race with big motivation and determination.”

Tanfield to make Great Britain track debut

Charlie Tanfield will make his debut race for Great Britain at the upcoming UCI Track World Championships in Apeldoorn from February 28 to March 4. The Yorkshire native will compete in the Individual Pursuit and the Team Pursuit.

Tanfield, 21, is a non-GB program rider, but was selected to the team after a successful season at the World Cup, where he raced with his Team KGF and won a gold medal in the Team Pursuit in Minsk. He recently won the national title in the Individual Pursuit.

"I am obviously very pleased to be picked to represent my country at the world championships," Tanfield said. "Myself and the rest of Team KGF couldn't have asked for a better track season, we've already achieved our goals that we have set.

"Now I would like to see how far I can now take this at the championships and hopefully at the Commonwealth Games in April, if I am lucky enough to be selected for those as well. I’m currently putting in the last stint of work in Mallorca with the GB men’s endurance squad to get as ready as I can be.

"I would like to say huge thanks for the team who are supporting me, preparing me both physically and mentally for this huge step in my career. I’m going to learn so much from the experience and obviously going to feel so proud to wear the GB kit in my first World Championships."

Team GB's squad for the Team Pursuit will also include Dan Bingham, who races with Tanfield on Team KGF. British Cycling announced the men’s endurance team to also include Ed Clancy, Kian Emadi, Ethan Hayter, Chris Latham, Mark Stewart and Ollie Wood.

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