Revolution Season 13 – Round 2 Report & Gallery

All images ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc

 

Tennant and Keisse take Team Pedalsure to the top in the first round of the Revolution Championship 2015/16 in Manchester.

 

Revolution 53

Andrew Tennant and Iljo Keisse consistently rode well in the five Race Events taking Team Pedalsure to the top of the Championship League after the first full round of the 2015-16 Winter Season.

Revolution 53 - Series 13 - Manchester Round 2There was thrilling four-way sprint across the line of the UCI Scratch Race for Tennant beating Wiggins, Wood and Viviani. Mark Stewart had set off early, but was soon caught by Elia Viviani. Approaching the final couple of corners Tennant, the Wiggins and Wood all took the longer path around the track, but it was Tennant that got there first. This provided the only victory for Team Pedalsure on the day. Keisse’s strong second place in the UCI Points Race and the teams second placement in the Revolution one-kilometre Madison Time Trial added valuable points to their tally.

Last years Champions Maloja Pushbikers pushed all the way, winning the 1km Madison Time Trial in the final heat, after Team Pedalsure set the initial 56.875 time that looked unbeatable on the night. Most of the other teams challenged with around the 58s time, but Maloja set the only sub 56s time with a 55.907, they are determined to beat Oli Wood and Ed Clancy’s record of 54.537 this season by all accounts.

 

HOY Future Star Events

Revolution 53 - Series 13 - Manchester Round 2The HOY future Star Championship got off to a great start for Rhys Britton and Jessica Roberts whom both lead into round three at the Lee Valley Velodrome in early November.

Rhys pulled the triple off, winning the Scratch, Points and Six-Lap Dash, giving him a clear lead over Fred Wright for the next round.

Roberts won both the Points and the Six-Lap Dash, winning the bunch sprint in the Scratch Race after a gutsy solo victory by Maddie Gammons (Maloja Pushbikers).

 

Revolution 53 - Series 13 - Manchester Round 2Elite Women’s Endurance Events

Matrix Fitness’s Laura Trott took a double win in the Elite Women’s UCI Events winning both the Points and Elimination Races.

Team USN’s Emily Nelson was the only rider to lap the field, to win the UCI Scratch Race.

 

Women’s Sprint Events

Belgium’s Nicky Degrendele proved too strong to beat in the Women’s UCI Sprint racing. Winning the initial 200m Flying Start Qualifying in the Sprint Competition, set a time of 11.477 against her closest rival, GB’s Sophie Capewell with a 11.786.

Degrendele went on the reach the finals against Capewell, with a convincing two heat victory.

Degrendele’s strenght also proved too powerful in both heats of the Keirin, winning easily against all her rivals.

 

 

UCI Sprint – Qualification 200m Time Trial  Women

  1. Nicky Grendele BEL 11.447
  2. Sophie Capewell GBR 11.786
  3. Bernette Beyers RSA 11.797
  4. Robyn Stewart SCO 12.128
  5. Neah Evans SCO 12.213
  6. Emma Baird SCO 12.412
  7. Odette Van Deventer RSA 12.883
  8. Shanaze Reade DNS

 

Elite Championship Flying Lap  Men

  1. Oli Wood JLT 13.692
  2. Marcel Kalz MAL 13.821
  3. Elia Viviani SKY 14.080
  4. Chris Latham VCU 14.094
  5. Andy Tennant PED 14.112
  6. Joe Holt USN 14.364
  7. Angus Claxton SCO 14.379
  8. Owain Doull WIG 14.762
  9. Marc Hester ONE 14.933
  10. Adam Blythe OGE 14.939
  11. Alastair Rutherford NAB 14.941
  12. Melvin Van Zijl TAL 15.042

 

UCI Points Race (20km)  Women

  1. Laura Trott Matrix Fitness
  2. Katie Archibald Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l
  3. Emily Kay Team USN
  4. Elinor Barker Matrix Fitness
  5. Manon Lloyd Team USN
  6. Megan Barker 100%ME
  7. Abbie Dentus 100%ME
  8. Henrietta Colbourne Team Jadan
  9. Emily Nelson Team USN
  10. Rebecca Raybould PWH
  11. Annasley Park 100%ME
  12. Sophie Black Isle of MAN
  13. Melissa Lowther Matrix Fitness
  14. Ellen McDermott Team Jadan

 

Australian Pursuit (2km)  Women

Emily Kay, Emily Nelson, Megan Barker, Abbie Dentus

 

Elite Championship Points Race (30km)   Men

  1. Elia Viviani Team Sky
  2. Iljo Keisse Team Pedalsure
  3. Mark Stewart Scotland
  4. Christian Grasmann Maloja Pushbikers
  5. Marc Hester ONE Pro Cycling
  6. Pim Lighart ONE Pro Cycling
  7. Anny Tennant Team Pedalsure
  8. Adam Blythe Orica GreenEdge
  9. Bradley Wiggins Team WIGGINS
  10. Alistair Rutherford The NAB Racing
  11. Yoeri Havik JLT Condor p/b
  12. Melvin Van Zijl Telegraph Allstars

 

Elite Championship Scratch Race (15km) Men

  1. Andy Tennant Team Pedalsure
  2. Bradley Wiggins Team WIGGINS
  3. Oli Wood JLT Condor p/b Mavic
  4. Elia Viviani Team Sky
  5. Mark Stewart Team Scotland
  6. Yoeri Havik JLT Condor p/b Mavic
  7. Christian Grasmann Maloja Pushbikers RT
  8. Alastair Rutherford The NAB Racing
  9. Matt Bostock Team USN
  10. Reece Wood The NAB Racing
  11. Adam Blythe Orica GreenEdge
  12. Iljo Keisse Team Pedalsure

 

Elimination Race Women

Laura Trott, Emily Kay, Katie Archibald, Manon Lloyd

 

Elite Championship 1km Madison Time Trial -1 Men

  1. Maloja Pushbikers RT 55.907
  2. Team Pedalsure 56.875
  3. Team WIGGINS 57.135
  4. VCUK – Champion Systems 57.765
  5. Telegraph Allstars 58.054
  6. JLT Condor p/b Mavic
  7. Orica GreenEdge
  8. Team Scotland
  9. Team Sky
  10. Team USN
  11. ONE Pro Cycling
  12. The NAB Racing

 

Revolution Longest Lap  Men

Chris Latham, Reece Wood, Chris Lawless, Marc Hester

 

HOY Future Stars 6 Lap Dash (1.5km) Boys

  1. Reece Britton Team USN
  2. Fred Wright Telegraph Allstars
  3. Jake Stewart Team WIGGINS
  4. Lewis Stewart Team Scotland
  5. Matthew Burke Team USN

 

 

Elite Championship Team Elimination Men

  1. Team WIGGINS
  2. Team Pedalsure
  3. VCUK – Champion Systems
  4. Maloja Pushbikers RT
  5. ONE Pro Cycling
  6. JLT Condor p/b Mavic
  7. Telegraph Allstars
  8. Orica GreenEdge
  9. The NAB Racing
  10. Team Scotland
  11. Team Sky
  12. Team USN

 

HOY Future Stars 6 Lap Dash (1.5km) Girls

  1. Jessica Roberts Team USN
  2. Rachel Jary Telegraph Allstars
  3. Rhona Callander Team Scotland
  4. Lauren Dolan ONE Pro Cycling
  5. Elizabeth Bennett Team USN

 

Elite Championship Presentations – Winning Team

Andrew Tennant and Iljo Kiesse, Team Pedalsure

 

UCI Scratch Race – (10km) Women

  1. Emily Nelson Team USN
  2. Emily Kay Team USN
  3. Megan Barker
  4. Katie Archibald
  5. Elinor Barker
  6. Laura Trott
  7. Henrietta Colbourne
  8. Abbie Dentus
  9. Manon Lloyd
  10. Annasley Park
  11. Rebecca Raybould
  12. Sophie Black
  13. Melissa Lowther

 

HOY Future Stars Points Race (5km) Boys

  1. Reece Britton Team USN
  2. Jake Stewart Team WIGGINS
  3. Fred Wright Telegraph Allstars
  4. Lewis Stewart Team Scotland
  5. Ben Hardwick JLT Condor p/b Mavic

 

UCI Sprint Keirin – First Round  Women

Nicky Degrendele, Neah Evans, Robyn Stewart, Emma Baird

 

HOY Future Stars Scratch Race (5km)  Girls

  1. Maddie Gammons Maloja Pushbikers RT
  2. Jessica Roberts Team USN
  3. Georgia Hilliard Team WIGGINS
  4. Sophie Williams Orica GreenEdge
  5. Pfieffer Georgi ONE Pro Cycling

 

HOY Future Stars Scratch Race (5km) Boys

  1. Reece Britton Team USN
  2. Fred Wright Telegraph Allstars
  3. Anthony Anderson Telegraph Allstars
  4. Jim Brown ONE Pro Cycling
  5. Matthew Shaw Maloja Pushbikers RT

 

UCI Keirin Final  Women

Nicky Degrendele, Robyn Stewart, Sophie Capewell, Emma Baird.

 

HOY Future Stars Points Race (5km) Girls

  1. Jessica Roberts Team USN
  2. Charlotte Cole-Hossain VCUK – Champion Systems
  3. Sophie Williams Orica GreenEdge
  4. Rhona Callander Team Scotland
  5. Lauren Dolan ONE Pro Cycling

 

Team Sprint  Women

Team Scotland beat the Republic of South Africa.

 

HOY Future Stars

Reece Britton & Jessica Roberts

 

 

The next round:

Round 3: 14 November London

Round 4: 28 November Glasgow

Round 5: 02 January Manchester

Round 6: 23 January Manchester

British National Track Championships 2015 – Day 1

All images ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc

 

25 September 2015

2015 BRITISH CYCLING NATIONAL TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY ONE RESULTS ROUND-UP

Results from day one of competition at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester where Laura Trott and Andy Tennant took the individual pursuit titles, Katy Marchant won gold in the women’s sprint, Matt Crampton took gold in the men’s keirin, Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott (pilot) took the para-cycling time trial BVI title and an inspirational Kadeena Cox won her first national para-cycling time trial title (C1-5).

 

Day 1 Afternoon Session

Women’s Sprint 200m Flying Lap

Defending Champion Jessica Varnish starts her Sprint Jersey with the second fastest 200m Flying Lap whilst Katy Marchant leads the way with a 11.030. Up-coming Victoria Williamson sets a 11.270 behind former Double World Champion Becky James at 11.294.

The top twelve riders qualify to the next heat.

Katy Marchant Unattached 11.030
Jessica Varnish Team V-Sprint Racing 11.149
Victoria Williamson VC Norwich 11.270
Rebecca James Abergavenny RC 11.294
Rachel James Abergavenny RC 11.585
Sophie Capewell Lichfield City CC 11.616
Anna Newton Unattached 11.877
Eleanor Richardson Edinburgh RC 11.961
Ellie Coster Team USN 12.036
Robyn Stewart Glasgow Sprint TCT 12.143
Lauren Quenby Swinnerton Cycles 12.186
Neah Evans Glasgow Sprint TCT 12.215

Neah Evans takes an impressive first heat against Katy Marchant.
Jessica Varnish takes heat two against Lauren Quenby
Victoria Williamson takes heat three against Robyn Stewart
Ellie Coster takes heat four against Becky James
Rachel James takes heat five against Eleanor Richardson
Anna Newton takes heat six against Sophie Capewell

Katy Marchant re-joins the event the harder way, through the repechage.
Eleanor Richardson also re-joins the event through the repechage heat two.

The biggest upset of the afternoon was defending Sprint Champion Jessica Varnish losing out to Katy Marchant in the quarter finals.

 

Men’s 4000m Pursuit Qualifying

Andrew Tennant (Team WIGGINS) qualifies quickest in the final heat of the 4000m IP setting a time of 4.23.908, beating Germain Burton 100% ME by almost a second. Team mate Jon Dibben qualifies third with Mathew Gibson fourth.

Andrew Tennant Team WIGGINS 4.23.908
Germain Burton 100% ME 4.24.751
Jon Dibben Team WIGGINS 4.25.754
Matthew Gibbson 100% ME 4.27.728
Oil Wood 100% ME 4.28.241
Mark Stewart 100% ME 4.29.022
Daniel Bigham Beeline Bicycles RT 4.33.382
Chris Latham 100% ME 4.33.819
Jake Kelly 100% ME 4.34.469
Angus Claxton Glasgow Cycle Team 4.35.042

 

Women’s 300m Pursuit Qualifying

Defending Women’s 3000m IP Champion Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l) qualifies quickest in the final heat for Gold play-off in a time of 3.31.327. Laura Trott set the bench mark in the previous heat taking three seconds off Archibald’s Team Mate Ciara Horne, whom had led at that point. Joanna Rowsell Shand will join them for the bronze medal playoff later this evening.

Katie Archibald Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 3.31.327
Laura Trott Matrix Fitness 3.32.505
Ciara Horne Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 3.35.579
Jo Rowsell Shand Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 3.35.941
Elinor Barker Matrix Fitness 3.37.892
Emily Kay Team USN 3.40.736
Dame Sarah Storey Pear Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 3.41.370
Manon Lloyd Team USN 3.43.227

 

Para Cycling Time Trials

The first podiums of the event were the Mixed Para Cycling C1-5 Standing Start Time Trial Category.

Collecting the Gold Medal and the new National Champion was Kadeena Cox, FC2, Unattached setting a factored time of 1.00.534. It wasn’t what she expected, telling the audience afterwards.

Silver went to Lauren Booth, YBFC4, Carnac-Planet X with a factored time of 1.07.602.

Bronze went to Rik Waddon, MC3, Para-T with a factored time of 1.10.193

 

C1-5 Finals Result

Gold: Kadeena Cox (Unattached) 40.591 (factored time 1.00.534)
Silver: Lauren Booth (Carnac-Planet X) 41.152 (factored time 1.07.602)
Bronze: Rik Waddon (Para T) 1.15.185 (factored time 1.10.193)

The second podium of the event before breaking for the evening session was the Mixed Para Cycling BVI Standing Start 1000m Time Trial Category.

World Champions Sophie Thornhill and her pilot Helen Scott, both Performance Cycle Coaching collected the Gold Medal to become the new National Champions. Setting a factored time of 1.00.265. Both girls had given it all they had to clinch the title, afterwards they lay on the floor giggling with joy!

Silver Medal went to World Champions Neil Fachie and his pilot Peter Mitchell, both Black Line, setting a factored time of 1.02.631.

Bronze Medal went to Laura Cluxton, Road And Road Cycles and her pilot Lyndsay Carson, Team Thompson Cycles with a factored time of 1.07.710

 

BVI Mixed 1000m Finals Result

Gold: Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott (pilot) (Performance Cycle Coaching) 1.08.709 (factored time 1.00.265)
Silver: Neil Fachie and Peter Mitchell (pilot) (Black Line) 1.02.631 (factored time 1.02.631)
Bronze: Laura Cluxton (Road and Road Cycles) and Lyndsey Carson (pilot, Team Thomson Cycles) 1.17.198 (factored time 1.07.710)

 

Day 1 Evening Session

3000m Women’s IP Finals

In a thrilling Gold play-off, Laura Trott, Matrix accelerated in the dying laps to reclaim the Women’s 3000m Pursuit Title from last years title holder Katie Archibald.

Ciara Horne, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l rode into the Bronze Medal position against team-mate Joanna Rowsell Shand.

Gold: Laura Trott (Matrix Fitness) 3.32.759
Silver: Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) 3.33.065
Bronze: Ciara Horne (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) 3.37.262

Joanna Rowsell Shand
Elinor Barker
Dame Sarah Story
Emily Kay
Manon Lloyd

 

4000m Men’s IP Finals

Timing his effort to perfection, Andrew Tennant, Team WIGGINS took the Men’s National 4000m Pursuit Title. Leading the race for Gold through most of the session, Germain Burton, 100% ME looked like he was going to pull the title out of the bag, but Tennant showed his experience, kept his nerve, and turned the gas up the closing laps to become the new National Champion.

Gold: Andrew Tennant (Team Wiggins) 4.23.583
Silver: Germain Burton (100% ME) 4.27.209
Bronze: Jonathan Dibben (Team Wiggins) 4.24.906

Matt Gibson
Oli Wood
Mark Stewart
Daniel Bigham
Chris Latham

 

Men’s Keirin Finals

Matt Crampton, Unattached, takes the 2015 Keirin title.

Matt had sat in the middle of the pack on the approach to the final lap and went around the outside to clinch the title from Oliva and Thomas Rotherham. Jason Kenny took fourth, Matt Rotherham fifth and Jon Mitchell sixth.

The Keirin had got off to a good start for Matt Crampton winning the first heat of the day. He then went on to win the semis too.

A huge crash in the second heat of the first round, saw four riders flying through the air bringing their Championship dreams to an end. Luckily they all got up from the track.

Gold: Matt Crampton (Unattached)
Silver: Lewis Oliva (Team USN)
Bronze: Thomas Rotherham (Sportcity Velo)

 

Women’s Sprint Finals

Katy Marchant claims her first National Sprint Title. Winning the European Title earlier on this year has build on that success, beating former double World Champion Becky James, Abergavenny RC in both rounds.

Victoria Williamson, VC Norwich beat Eleanor Richardson for the Bronze Medal in two straight sets.

Former National Sprint Champion Jess Varnish, Team V-Sprint Racing won the minor finals for fifth followed by Rachel James, sixth, Sophie Capewell, seventh and Neah Evans, eighth.

Gold: Katy Marchant (Unattached)
Silver: Becky James (Abergavenny RC)
Bronze: Victoria Williamson (VC Norwich)

SCCU Good Friday Meeting

 

SCCU Good Friday Meeting
Herne Hill Velodrome, Burbage Road, SE24 9HE : 29 March 2013

 

Marcel Kalz at Good Friday picture ©Paul Wright

Marcel Kalz at Good Friday picture ©Paul Wright

Top International riders competing at the historic Good Friday meeting this year are Sprinter Robert Forstemann, Six Day riders Christian Grasmann, Marcel Kalz, Leif Lampater, Nico Hesslich (all Germany) & Manuel Cazzaro (Italy).

 

Andy Tennant (Madison Genesis) is the leading British rider supported by Dominic Jelfs. 

Team Raleigh have a strong presence with Evan Oliphant, Tom Scully and Sam Witmitz.  Peter Mitchell, winner of the Open Sprint for the last two years is hoping to make it three in a row.

 

Live commentary will be provided by David Harmon.  Paralympic stars Jody Cundy and Jon-Allan Butterworth are also competing and newly crowned World Sprint and World Keirin Champion Becky James will be making a guest appearance, but will not be racing on this occasion.

 

The Triumph Thunderbird motorbikes will again take to the track. Two British riders, James Holland-Leader and Symon Lewis will compete against riders from Holland, Belgium, France and Germany in the seven man 40 laps Motor paced race.

 

There are five races for women this year; women’s specific are the Sprint, Keirin and Scratch, and women will take on the men in the 5 Mile and Devil.

 

The usual SCCU Good Friday favourite races include the White Hope Sprint for up and coming riders, the International Open Sprint with top riders from home and abroad and the Meeting will end with the now classic Golden Wheel 20 k scratch, which boasts a fantastic £1000 for the winner and a further £1000 for the runners up.  Last year’s winner, Marcel Kalz from Germany is returning to defend his trophy against a 125 strong field. 

 

Apart from the usual ‘cycle jumble’ stalls there will be Bike Bling and bike related stalls around the Velodrome, plus a Real Ale Bar, proper coffee and hot food outlets.  Gates open at 9.30 for spectators. Preliminary races start at 10.30 and the Finals start at 1pm, all being well it should be done by 5.30.

 

Good Friday By Numbers:

11:                          The number of countries that riders come from this year (France, Belgium, GB, Holland, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Finland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia),

22:                          The number of women competing in 2013

57:                          Hotel beds booked for the Meeting

148:                        The number of riders in this year’s Meeting

£675:                     Total Prize money for the Womens events

£1000:                   First prize for the Golden Wheel 20k Scratch

1903:                     Year the first meeting was held

£4610:                   Total Prize money for the Meeting

 

Admission is £12 for adults, £6 for 12-16s and free for under 12s. Tickets can be purchased in advance via the website or on the day. There is no onsite car parking for spectators; please arrive by train to Herne Hill station (8 minutes walk) or bike, as there will be plenty of bike parking.  Spectators needing disabled parking should contact the organisers in advance.

 

Further information can be found at:  www.bristowevents.co.uk/GoodFriday.html

The London Bike Show 2013 (Review 2)

Hopefully this will add something to the great article written by Tony here.

Last week was tough for cycling, hitting the national headlines for all the wrong reasons. Yet help was at hand with the start of the pro tour season in Australia and Argentina and perhaps even more exciting;  4 days of the London Bike Show to cheer even the most cynical of fans.

IMG_0615

Bradleys Wiggins’ Pinarello Dogma in Malliot Jaune Livery

Having never been to an event like this before, the first thing that struck me was the sheer number of people in attendance. OK, tickets included entry to three additional shows within the Excel but the exhibition centre was positively throbbing. As the glitz and glamour of Wiggo mania wanes it was heartening to see continued excitement surrounding cycle sport in general.

Kudos goes to the new Madison Genesis team, managed by ex Garmin-Cervelo rider Roger Hammond, who held their team presentation on the Saturday of the show. Hosted by the delightful Ant McCrossan it was a chance to see some of the team’s extremely youthful looking riders like Alex Peters and Brendan Townshend which have combined with elder more experienced riders like Dean Downing, Ian Bibby and Andy Tennant.

The Madison-Genesis Continental Team being presented on stage

Arguably the most interesting aspect of this team is their promotion of the Steel framed Genesis Volare bike. Equipped with a Shimano Dura Ace and Pro finishing kit, the team bike is a delight aesthetically. Extremely classical, yet with modern touches. The downtube is wider than traditional steel bikes pandering to the modern trend for oversized tubing.Indeed the team is making a big deal out of the specially developed Reynolds tubing made in Birmingham.

The prevelance of Carbon Fibre as the go to material for high end road bikes may yet be challenged and as Genesis themselves argue; they have looked to banish those 80’s misconceptions that Steel frames are heavy flexible steeds. Instead, suggesting that they have combined the durability and comfort that is usually associated with a steel frame, with the race weight and stiffness of modern bikes.

Bibby, Downing, Jack Pullar, Chris Snook and Sebastian Baylis proved the bike was no slouch when they took part in the Elite Men’s Criterium after the presentation. The speed of the peloton around the tight, twisting 500 metre indoor circuit was astonishing to watch. With Bibby coming out on top beating UK circuit regular teams likes IG-Sigma Sport and Hope Factory Racing Team it was the perfect start for the new team. The folding bicycle race was also great to watch as a prelude to the main criterium. The ‘Le Mans’ style start meant that riders had to unfold their bicycles before setting off. Keith Henderson’s huge, race winning attack on the penultimate lap was very impressive. The Animal Bike Tour with Martyn Ashton, Blake Samson, Luke Madigan and Billy Atkins was also a joy to watch. Whilst Ashton was undoubtedly superb, Billy Atkins at the age of 17 pulled off some outrageous tricks on a scooter.

Elsewhere at the show you could not move for visual delights. Cervelo, Pinarello, Willier and Specialized all in attendance. Yet what struck me in

Stealthy looking Wilier

Stealthy looking Wilier

particular was the range of bike brands on offer. Canyon, Team and Time amongst others. Canyon in particular were exhibiting a range of road and MTB frames all at varying price brackets. The Ultimate CF was a particular delight with perfect geometry and presence at a great price, along with Joaquim Rodigruez’s Giro d’Italia customised Aeroad CF lavishly decorated with pink decals to match the Maglia Rosa he spectacularly lost to Ryder Hesjedal in 2012. This spectrum of bikes although dizzyingly confusing can only be a good thing for the continuation of top end cycle sport. And with the news that Pinarello is looking to stock frames at selected Halfords stores, we are now more than ever, spoilt for choice.

Amongst other products on show, Nanoprotech was perhaps the most innovative, like nothing I’ve seen before. Whilst Sportful where exhibiting an extremely lightweight waterproof jacket. Hope continue to produce beautifully engineered bike products, contact points and accessories whilst Schwalbe’s extensive range of tyres was mind boggling. Last word goes to Clif Bar whose Builders Bar was very tasty in a variety of flavours along with their electrolyte shot in Citrus and double espresso was easy on the palette.

Tour de Taiwan

This is my first blog for a while and I think it comes at an appropriate time of my season. My last blog took us up to the end of our second team training camp. This point marked the end of my winter training and the beginning of my 2012 racing season. I had already spent 3-4 weeks away with my new team mates and as the start of the season drew closer, the exciting talks of racing were growing evermore common. Personally I couldn’t wait to take off the legwarmers and get stuck in.

My season started relatively quietly with a local 25 mile TT. A very cold Sunday morning in Sussex marked my first race, where I was entitled to proudly pull on my Rapha Condor Sharp skinsuit for the first time. Although the TT itself was hugely uncomfortable and not particularly quick, it felt good to lay down a definitive marker and I can now monitor my improvement as the year progresses. More importantly it meant the season had now officially started.

My first big race for the team was the UCI 2.1 classified Tour de Taiwan. But before I jetted off to the other side of the globe, I was looking to fit in a few more races to help ease the always painful transition from training to racing. I was lucky enough to be given the offer to stay up North with my team mate Rich Handley – I got to know Rich quite well after sharing a room with for the duration of our first training camp in Lanzarote. It appears I didn’t annoy him too much first time round, so he was willing to accommodate me at his home for a weekend of training and racing. Along with a few of our other team mates, we raced in the Eddie Soens Memorial and CDNW Pimbo circuit races. I was pleasantly surprised with how I felt in the season openers and picked up 6th on the Saturday and 9th on the Sunday.

Tuesday afternoon I was dropped off at Manchester Airport to meet the members of the team I was travelling to Asia with; Luke (Mellor), Andy (Tennant) and Pete (Taylor). You can always sense the disappointment of the person behind the check-in desk at the airport who has to deal with us and this time was no exception as we had quite a large entourage of baggage to stow away on the plane; 7 bike bags, 8 suitcases and 1 very lanky rider. Our flight plan would add a few more pins into the chart on my wall with the journey taking us from Manchester to Amsterdam to Bangkok and finally to Taipei.

With no apparent signs of jet lag on arrival, the few days we had before the start of the race flew by. A few short rides, lots of Starbucks coffee, birthday cake purchasing, press conferences and probably too much twitter were what filled my time. After receiving our race programme it quickly became apparent that we weren’t going to be waking up any later than 6am at any point during the race. I generally don’t have a problem with early starts and here was no different but I did find myself struggling to stay awake past 9:30 most evenings.

Stage 1 was a short, very wet 55km crit around the centre of Taipei city. The short distance, bad weather and tight corners suited my style of riding quite a lot. I was pretty nervous before the start – as John picked up on when I couldn’t stop fidgeting – as I didn’t really have any idea how I was going to compare to the highest ranked field I’d ever raced against. I was fortunate enough to be given a nice initiation into this level of racing with a fast but comfortable first stage where I picked up 4th in the bunch sprint, which was good enough for 10th on the stage. However, the following few stages weren’t as kind.

The next 3 days involved me suffering, wheel sucking and trying my best not to get dropped from the main group too early. Even after a nice first stage, in my head I knew I was going to take a bit of a kicking. Last year whilst stage racing, although I experienced some good stages I also experienced a lot of bad days where I was struggling from the start to the very end of the stage. Naturally, taking a step up from the racing I did last year I expected it to be harder, so I think not underestimating how hard it was going to be was what helped me get through those first few days. I wasn’t panicking about my performances at night and wasn’t dreading getting up for the race in the morning – quite the contrary as although I wasn’t performing as well as the rest of the team, I was still loving the racing.

After a tough 5 days and my personal goal of reaching the finish of the race nearly complete, I was given the opportunity of trying to get in the days break away. Stage 6 was my best chance, when the break was let go within the first couple of km’s. This marked for me, personally my worst day of the tour. Sitting in the bunch steadily riding along knowing I could’ve been in the break wasn’t a nice feeling and to top off a very long drawn out day, I got burnt to a crisp by the sudden heat wave shortly after the start – 35 degree sun and pale Irish skin without any suncream is a terrible combination. After the disappointment of not capitalizing on my role of getting in the early break-away on stage 6, I was determined to rectify that on stage 7 and must’ve followed over 10 attacks within the first hour but to no avail. The not too shabby average speed of 49 km/h probably had something to do with that. The end of the race was tarred with an unfortunate event. A fast technical finish looked to be the perfect end to our tour, with Deano [Dean Downing] and Ben (Grenda) both up well within the top 10 with 500m to go but some bad dangerous riding from another rider saw Ben being taken down and bouncing down the tarmac on his ass. Not a nice end to Ben’s tour, especially after his solid performances taking a 5th and a 6th.

Looking back now I am pretty satisfied that I got through the race. I loved the experience and it felt great to finally get involved in some racing after months of excitedly anticipating lining up with my new team mates. International stage racing has definitely become one of my most favourite aspects of the sport in the last few years. I relish the way the team comes together throughout the race to help each other achieve the best results possible and to get each other through the lows as well as the highs is something that I haven’t yet experienced anywhere else. Although in the Tour de Taiwan I was at times disappointed that I wasn’t able to help my team mates more, I think the experience gained there will stand be in good stead for the rest of the season.

From this moment I have quite a busy 4 weeks ahead of me. This Saturday (24th March) I’m racing for the first time since Taiwan in a short hilly circuit race in East London. I then move to my next race with the team the following Sunday – the Dengie Marsh classic premier calendar. After that I fly to Belfast for the 4 day stage race: the Tour of the North. Finally, I fly out to Holland to compete in the ZLM U23 Nations Cup event, where I will be riding my first race of 2012 for the Irish National team. A busy, but very exciting few weeks ahead and I can’t wait to get racing again.

 
 
 
 

The Revolution Continues…. The Manx Missile returns to the Track

 

Rob Hayles Retirement Presentation - Image ©Copyright Ben Dando @ Cycling Shorts.

Saturday night saw the arrival of the much anticipated second Revolution of the season and the return of Mark Cavendish to the track after more than 2 years. Mark’s last outing was at the World Championships in 2009 and as a former World Madison Champion it was great to see him back at the track reunited (if only for a manly hug) with his former partner Rob Hayles. Since then we’ve witnessed Cavendish conquer the road in his gutsy and punchy style. It would be great to see what he could achieve tonight.

We arrived to set up about 4pm and the press and team areas were already buzzing, everyone was talking about Cav and whether he’d arrived yet. After investigating we heard the news that he had already arrived before most of the press had even got parked, he was keeping a low profile until later… who could blame him. Every new arrival to the press area wanted to know if Cav was doing interviews and could they be added to the list. It was all very vague, he wasn’t really wanting to do interviews and it would be a case of catching him if and when you could, and IF his PR would let you get near him. It didn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the collective.

The atmosphere seemed to be fuelled by events at a larger venue across the road, Man City were playing at home to Newcastle United and you could hear the cheers of the home crowd as the goals went in… 3 in total. The velodrome car park and SportsCity were overflowing with football fans cars, so I was quite surprised to see the steady flow of Revolution season ticket holders when their doors were opened at about the time Manchester City fans were merrily leaving, it must have been gridlock outside as the football crowds dispersed and cycling fans attempted to park.

Matt Crampton and Callum Skinner - Image ©Copyright Ben Dando @ Cycling Shorts.

Cyclists were already warming up in their team bays, there was a steady stream of people from the media area back and forth to the Howies team area to see if the Manx man was about to appear. Other riders were also grabbing a lot of attention, Team Sky were represented by Geraint Thomas and Alex Dowsett after their hugely successful long road seasons and the media were hungry for soundbites, Rapha had the imposing figure of Ed Clancy.

Finally the compact figure of Mark Cavendish appeared looking smartly groomed sporting his pristine World Champion Jersey, a huge smile and what looked like a Movember Moustache or it could have just been an out of season look, there were a couple of slightly fuzz covered faces about, possibly tache attempts, facial hair isn’t the usual sight at a track meet.

Team UK Youth were being headed by their charismatic co-owner, the always delightful Magnus Backstedt who was feverishly signing autographs throughout the evening for anyone who asked, taking time to have conversations with all the young boys and girls who approached him, most of whom barely came up to his knees, bent double he would reach down to take their notepads and comment on their cool sunglasses, telling them how smart they looked in their replica team shirts, this made their day and with little puffed out chests and beaming smiles they headed back autographs and pens in hand to their mums and dads. Magnus really is in his element at these sorts of events connecting so well with the public. Tonight he would have a bike frame up for grabs as a prize for a Team UK Youth Prize Draw and tickets were selling like hot cakes. We grabbed a few words with Magnus, “It’s great to see such a huge crowd, I really enjoy being back at the track and hopefully the team will perform well tonight.”

There were less international cyclists presents at this Revolution, there may not have been quantity but there certainly was quality in the shape of flamboyant Franco Marvulli and Iljo Keisse the European Madison Champion. ITV4 were setting up their pundit station by the finish line which is now part of the Revolution experience, Ned Boulting flitting around from the media area to his set chatting away with the recently retired Rob Hayes his presenting partner. When the doors finally opened you could feel the excitement in the crowd, the whole velodrome was packed to the rafters, no spare standing room around the curves, all seats taken, the VIP area was about to take it’s first dinner course of the evening.

The riders swarmed around the track doing a few warm up laps and with about 20 minutes to go Mark Cavendish decided to take to the boards and the crown went wild, his distinct hunched riding style, trademark thick framed sunglasses and diminutive torso highlighted by his banded white jersey really stood out in the peloton of rather rangy leggy riders. When the teams were introduced before racing commenced and Howies took their turn to ride the Cote d’Azur Mark received a standing ovation. I grabbed a word with Geraint, how do you feel being back at the track? “It’s great and it’s going to be a special night, the crowd’s really buzzing and we haven’t even started yet!”

Before proceedings got underway with the Elite Motor Paced Scratch Race we witnessed Hugh Porter, who had obviously lost track of time chatting in the centre of the velodrome doing some speedy manoeuvres up the banking followed by Starsky & Hutch style acrobatics over the track railings to get back up to his commentary position, surprisingly nimble, blink and you’d miss him.

Mark Cavendish - ©Copyright Ben Dando @ Cycling Shorts.

The motor paced scratch race was over 6km and featured a top line up of endurance riders. Mark Cavendish and the Sky riders (Alex Dowsett, Geraint Thomas and Pete Kennaugh) were at the front of the pack, it was almost like a practice lead out train for next season, I’m not sure anyone had told Cav he wasn’t yet on the Sky team, but he stayed in his usual position that alerts others capable of a sprint finish to pay attention. In the end Steven Burke of Team UK Youth rushed to the front with just enough time left to wind it up and prevent Cav from jumping off the pack, he took the race in style.

The DHL Future Stars Boys then hit the track for what turned out to be a thrills and spills packed Scratch Race, the current Championship leader Ryan Whatmough took a nasty fall along with a number of other riders in two separate crashes in the back straight. Chris Lawless put in a major effort to stay away from the pack for a large chunk of the race but in the end the win went to his Maxgear teammate Jake Ragen, 2nd was Jake Kelly and 3rd was Jack Hoyle. This would prove to be the start of a great evening for Ragen. There was another interesting tussle going on in the centre of the track for those who had been sent to report on the event, a mele of press surrounded Mark Cavendish which I imagine may have started to get under his skin as the evening progressed, he could hardly move.

Mark finally took up his position to be interviewed by ITV4 for their television highlights show while the sprinters took to the track. We were also treated to a bumper selection of British sprinters, just four of them but all quality riders, Matt Crampton, Dave Daniell, Pete Mitchell and Callum Skinner. The first event for them was the 200m Time Trial and they all put in great performances but Dave Daniell pushed Matt Crampton into second place.

In the Revolution Series there is really only one girl who you need to mention… Emily Kay (Cunga Bikes), Emily has won the Championship two years running and in the first Revolution of this series she cleaned up by taking all three races in style, her ability to time her moves to perfection is unmatched, she knows when to sit in the wheels and when to wind it up to take sprint points, she has amazing tactics and out powers the whole field Emily really is a tour de force. There’s no doubt in my mind Emily is a going to play a major role in the British Cycling team in years to come, she’s destined to be a household name. The only girl to make an impact on Emily all evening was Ellie Coster in the first of the Girls races The DHL Future Stars Points Race. Emily gained maximum points during the race but Ellie took the final 5 points on the finish line, it still left Emily with a comfortable win and I’m not even sure if Emily might have sat back at the finish to preserve energy for the following two races ahead. She went on to win the Elimination and Scratch races with ease, in the Elimination race Ellie pushed for second place again, she’s really trying to make a mark against the dominating run Kay is having. Emily took the whole thing in her stride, definitely the girl of the evening and the season so far! Hats off to you Emily.

Where it went wrong for Rouleur Sam Harrison & Joe Kelly - Image ©Copyright Ben Dando @ Cycling Shorts.

The madison time trial didn’t pass without incident, unfortunately Rouleurs team of Sam Harrison and Manx man Joe Kelly came unstuck with their hand sling, the approach didn’t look good from our vantage point they didn’t seem to be matching their speed, Sam seemed ahead of Joe by quite a way and Sam seemed to grab at Joe’s handlebars thinking it was a hand and Joe grabbed Sam nearer the elbow, I’m not sure which element of the switchover caused what happened next, it was probably a combination of things but both rider came clattering down in front of the press area and Joe didn’t appear to move for quite a while. They did eventually get to their feet but the evening ended there for Joe as it was announced he was still concussed later in the evening and Sam appeared to retire too. The rest of the Madison event was fast paced with Ed Clancy and Andy Tennant riding a 55.351 which was more than enough for them to take victory, Sky came in 2nd over 2 seconds down followed by Howies (Cavendish and Andy Fenn) over half a second down on Sky.

The rest of the DHL Boys races were taken by Oliver Wood which bumped him up the overall standings but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to take the lead in the championship, the position was up for grabs after Whatmough’s fall in the first race and he was carrying injuries all evening but Jake Ragen put in some good consistent results after his earlier win and that gave him the edge over Wood. He gained a 2nd place in the Elimination and a 3rd place in the Points Race.

In the Elite Team Elimination the first team to go out was Team Sky, Cav was living dangerously near the back for most of the race, when the fourth team (Maxgear) were caught out Cav just nudged ahead but Howies couldn’t hang on much longer and the next and final elimination was Cavendish and his Team, they managed 3rd. The victorious team was Rapha with Keisse putting in a great ride representing the whole Rouleur team on his own as Kelly and Harrison retired. The big surprise was Team Sky being caught out at the first elimination.

Over the 3 rounds of the Revolution Sprint Matt Crampton got the better of the field stacking up some omnium points and doing the same in the Keirin by pipping Callum Skinner to the post, but it wasn’t enough to take the overall Sprint Omnium title from Dave Daniell who had been consistent all evening after his initial win in the 200m TT and his emphatic win in the 500m TT at the end of the evening.

In the Australian Pursuit Sky redeemed themselves after their disappointing result in the Elimination Race when Peter Kennaugh won over David O’Loughlin (Cunga Bikes).

Rob Hayes & Mark Cavendish interview - Image ©Copyright Ben Dando @ Cycling Shorts.

After the Pursuit there was a special presentation to mark Rob Hayles retirement, Rob did a lap of honour to yet another standing ovation he then rode through a guard of honour of all the elite riders with their bikes, Rob then dismounted and was greet with a hug by his old madison partner Mark Cavendish. Rob and Mark where then interviewed together by the ever enthusiastic Hugh Porter, he reminded everyone that Mark’s next major competition would be the BBC Sports Personality of the Year and he urged all present to vote for him… and who can argue with that… I urge you to do the same, I can’t think of a sportsman or woman who deserves it more! So don’t forget to have his number on speed dial on the evening of 22nd December 2011, it will be broadcast live from MediaCity, Salford Quays, Manchester, UK.

The real highlight of the evening was the Scratch Race, Team Sky really showed their strength, first of all Alex Dowsett rode off the front whcih has become his trademark all season, seeing the danger the peloton pulled him back and a small peloton of riders went off the front for a few laps. Spotting a chance Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh leapt off the front to break away, it was almost like Sky had scripted the race, but they only stayed away briefly and gave up and returned to the pack, it seemed like they were waiting for someone to come and join them. Then there was a second attack from Alex Dowsett, now it became clear they were just trying to tire the whole pack by hitting and hitting again. Ed Clancy had had enough of this and saw his chance to go but Sky were on to him and Geraint pulled him back. Through all of this the crowd were going wild and everyone was on their feet, everyone had their eye on Cav who was sat on Franco Marvulli’s wheel, he basically stayed up front and out of trouble in around 5th place most of the race, assessing the field the whole time, he looked so at home. With five laps to go he was still sitting pretty in 5th and as the tempo raised his Howies lead out man Jon Mould dropped off the front and the Manx Missile launched. It was an awesome sight to see such speed and acceleration at the Manchester Velodrome where it all began for Mark. He crossed the line in style and the whole velodrome erupted.

Magnus’s hopes came to fruition tonight when Team UK Youth stepped onto the podium to take the lead in the Team Championship.

It was one of the best evenings of cycling I’ve seen in a long while and you can see the highlights for yourself at 7pm on ITV4 (UK) tonight!

Jake Ragen and Emily Kay lead the Future Stars Championship - Image ©Copyright Ben Dando @ Cycling Shorts.

Team UK Youth: Steven Burke, James Lowsley Williams & Magnus Backstedt - Image ©Copyright Ben Dando @ Cycling Shorts.

Results:
Motor Paced Scratch Race – Steven Burke Team UK Youth
DHL Future Stars Scratch Race – Boys – Jake Ragen Maxgear Racing
Revolution Sprint Omnium – 200m TT – Dave Daniell 10.285
DHL Future Stars Points Race – Girls – Emily Kay Cunga Bikes
1km Madison Time Trial – Ed Clancy and Andy Tennant Rapha Condor Sharp
DHL Future Stars Elimination – Boys – Oliver Wood
Revolution Sprint Round 1 – Heat 1 – Matt Crampton 10.606 Heat 2 Dave Daniell 10.647
Team Elimination – Rapha Condor Sharp (Andy Tennant)
DHL Future Stars Scratch Race – Girls – Emily Kay
Revolution Sprint Round 2 – Heat 1 Matt Crampton 10.716 Heat 2 Dave Daniell 10.909
Australian Pursuit – Peter Kennaugh Team Sky
Revolution Sprint Round 3 – Heat 1 Matt Crampton 10.831 Heat 2 Callum Skinner 10.951
DHL Future Stars Points Race – Boys – Oliver Wood
Cycling Weekly Keirin – Matt Crampton 10.595
DHL Future Stars Elimination – Girls – Emily Kay
Scratch Race – Mark Cavendish
Revolution Sprint – 4 station 500m TT – Dave Daniell 32.545 (who wins Omnium with opts)

Overall Points Leaders after two rounds:
Team Leaders – Team UK Youth

Future Stars Girls – Emily Kay

Future Stars Boys – Jake Ragen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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