Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dave Daniell Shines at Revolution 31

Briton’s Dave Daniell missed the last Revolution of the 2010/11 track season, but he made up for it with victories in the Individual and Team Sprint.

The 20-year-old regular to the revolution event, who was the junior team-sprint champion in 2006 and 2007, also took third in the Kerin.  Daniell never looked under pressure in the final as he faced Dutch rider Roy Van Den Berg, who had beaten countryman Teun Mulder to get there. The Briton got the just half a lap before the bell, there was no looking back after that, eventually winning by several bike lengths.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Is Alberto Contador Guilty of Doping?

Alberto Contador is fighting for his cycling career after he tested positive for metabolism stimulant clenbuterol on July 21st 2010.

If he is found guilty by the UCI he would become only the second winner of the Tour de France to be stripped of his title for doping; the other was Floyd Landis in 2006. However is Alberto Contador guilty and should he be banned for two years? In my opinion the answer to this question is no and for more than one reason.

Contador the Man
Normally I would be the first person to be asking for a rider to be banned if they have been doping. However, with Contador my feelings are very different. I have never been a fan of el pistolero despite his superior riding and I haven’t been converted as a fan. However, after I had the fortune to meet him during an interview in Spain in 2009 in came to like him as a person. He is a very unassuming man who you wouldn’t think he had enjoyed as much success in cycling as he has. He never seemed like the type of man to take an unfair advantage in that way.

Alberto Contador tries to Save Career as he Submits Clenbuterol Defence Docoments

Alberto Contador should be enjoying his winter off after winning his third Tour de France at the age of 27 and joining Bjarne Riis at the SunGuard Saxo Bank team for 2011.

Instead he has just submitted his defence documents on Friday 26th November 2010 in his aim to salvage what has been a brilliant career for the Spaniard so far. Contador has been locked in battle with the Union Cycliste International (UCI – Cycling governing body) since he tested positive for banned substance clenbuterol in September. So how has el pistolero’s season gone from riding high to down in the dumps?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Andy Fenn Takes Two in the Madison with Six-Day legend Franco Marvulli

The Le Col team of Franco Marvulli, Andy Fenn and Jon Mould took victory in the highly anticipated three-man Madison at Revolution 30 on Sunday 21st November 2010.

Six-day veteran Marvulli produced a brilliant final sprint to give him and his young teammates a hard fought win in the 80 lap event. Close behind were the Max Gear Racing team of Adam Yates, Simon Yates and Leif Lampater, who had been ahead for much of the race, but finished two points behind. The three-man Madison has been a common occurrence during the hugely popular six-day events, but it is the first time it’s happened at the Revolution.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Top Five Turbo Trainers for Winter and Christmas

Winter and Christmas are soon approaching and the thought of going out on your bike in the cold is slowly becoming less enticing. So how do you keep yourself fit when the winter weather is against you? A turbo trainer is the perfect way to keep off the Christmas dinner and several bottles of wine over the festive period.

If you are a keen cyclist or one of your loved ones is always out on a ride and you would love to keep them in the house on Christmas day then here are five of the most popular turbo trainers and the market.

Elite SuperCrono Power Fluid ElastoGel Trainer

A leaver attached to the handlebars allows you to change the resistance while you’re riding so you can go from the flat roads of the Netherlands to climbing the Alpe d’Huez with quick flick of your hand.
Its lightweight and adjustable frame make it easy to move around the house or take to warm up before races. The ElastoGel roller means you get a reduction in noise and tyre wear without losing out on grip. It comes readymade so you won’t be going bonkers on Christmas morning trying to find the allan key.
Best Price: for £111.58
Other Sites:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Koichi Nakano a Cycling Legend: The Greatest Track Sprinter

Over recent years Japanese track cycling has struggled against some of the better funded nations like Australia and Great Britain. This wasn’t the case back in the ‘70s and ‘80s when Japan was the proud home of one of the top track cyclists in the sport’s history.

Koichi Nakano was born in Fukuoka, Japan in 1955 and remains the only rider to win sprint gold at the world championships 10 times in a row. He is also the only Japanese rider to have ever won gold in the sprint competition. Known as the “de laatste Keizer” (the last emperor), he was one of the most successful on the Japanese Kerin circuit, but never won a world championship as it was introduced toward the end of his reign. He was coached by Bill Long, who was one of Australia’s top cyclists and journalists.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

European Track Championships - Jason Kenny wins Kerin ahead of Matt Crampton

Jason Kenny made it through a crash filled Kerin event to win gold ahead of compatriot Matt Crampton on Sunday 7th November in Pruszkow.

It was a British one-two in the men’s Kerin as Kenny lead muscle-man Crampton over the line. Crampton has the lead going in to the final lap and used his power to get around and looked like gold would be his, but Kenny slipped around just before the line to steal it from his clutches.

Crashes Down the Germans
In Kenny’s second round race German riders Maximilian Levy and Michael Seidenbecher collided resulting in Levy being carried from the velodrome on a spinal board. It was later revealed that he had suffered from a broken collarbone and unsurprisingly Levy was unable to compete in the minor final with Seidenbecher coming last. Initially the man who had come second in the heat Adam Ptacnik from the Czech Republic was blamed for the incident and disqualified from the event. After some reconsideration he was reinstated and allowed to compete in the final and took bronze.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

European Track Championships - Sprint Queen Sandie Clair takes Gold

France added another two medals to their haul so far, but will be disappointed that it wasn’t two golds after Kevin Sireau missed out in the men’s sprint on Saturday 6th November in Pruszkow.

Sireau had been on sparkling form since the championships opened on Friday and became immediate favourite for the title after Chris Hoy suffered a shock defeat in the second round. The world number two was given the surprise of his life when the Russian Dennis Dmitriev, who is ranked 25th beat him in two straight races. He only got the chance to race in the final after his opponent in the semis was disqualified.

Controversy in the Semis
Damian Zielinski won his first two heats against Dmitriev, but the Russian argued that the Polish rider had moved in to the sprinters line on the inner track and blocked him. The judges agreed and due to it being his second code violation he was removed not only from the race but the whole event. This left Britain Jason Kenny to take the bronze medal without even having to put a wheel on the track.

European Track Championships - Chris Hoy Suffers Shock Defeat in Sprint

Multiple world and Olympic champion Chris Hoy had a day to forget in the Saturday morning session at the European Cycling Championships in Pruszkow on November 5th.

Hoy made it through qualifying with the only sub-10 second time in the men’s individual sprint and you would have bet your house he would take the top spot eventually. However, it all went wrong in the second round when he was pitted against the man with the slowest time from qualification 18-year-old Felix English from Ireland.

French Dominate the Sprint
The Scot was forced to change disciplines when his event was removed from the Olympic programme and since then he has dominated sprinting and won gold in Beijing two years ago. Small errors have been the bane of Hoy’s challenge in the inaugural European Championships. France’s Kevin Sireau was the man on form making it through each round with ease and beat, Great Britain’s other big hope in the sprint, Jason Kenny.

Friday, November 5, 2010

European track Championships - Jason Queally wins Gold at 40

Great Britain were the big winners in the opening day of the inaugural European track cycling championships winning two of the first blue jerseys awarded on Friday 5th November in Pruszkow.

Jason Queally became a gold medallist at the age of 40 in an event he’s never competed in at international level. Great Britain showed their intentions before London 2012 as they beat Russia in the men’s 4km pursuit by over four seconds with Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Andrew Tennant and Queally.

Russia got off to the better start but was soon overhauled by the Olympic champions by the end of the first lap. The Russians held on for the first eleven laps with the time split hovering around 0.3 seconds, but the Brits put their foot on the gas and dropped their opponents with ease. The Netherlands took the bronze ahead of Spain who just weren’t able to hold on to the pace of the Dutch.

European Track Championships - Britain dominate Friday morning sesson

Britain got the first European Championships off to the best possible start putting in the fastest times in three of the four morning qualifying sessions on Friday 5th November in Pruszkow, Poland.

Obviously a little too early for some the seats wear nearly empty for the morning session which started at 10am, but that didn’t dampen the excitement for the events that lay ahead.

Setting the Standard
It was the Olympic champions who set the standard in the team pursuit to open the three day event with a time of 4min 01.953 secs. Ed Clancy was the only member of the 2008 team who won the gold in Beijing. Bradley Wiggins chose not to race in this event, after it was taken from the schedule for London 2012, to focus on his own Olympic events.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Schleck's team is beginning to shape up

It became apparent in August that Saxo Bank directeur sportif Bjarne Riis had lost his battle to keep Frank and Andy Schleck at the team when he announced the signing of Alberto Contador.

The Schleck’s new team is now beginning to take shape in preparation for the 2011 team, but who will be donning the jerseys in the currently named The Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project?

Riders Flee Saxo Bank
First to follow the Luxemburgish pair was the Australian Stuart O’Grady who worked hard for Andy during the 2010 Tour de France. It became obvious that there was no love lost between the two and their Danish director when they were thrown out of the Vuelta a Espana for drinking alcohol. The Australian won gold in the Madison in the 2004 Olympic Games his is also twice world team pursuit champion.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sean Yates: Tour de France Contenders Will Miss Giro d'Italia

Team Sky sports director Sean Yates has said that top Tour de France favourites will miss out on the 2011 Giro d’Italia due to the toughness of both.

Yates didn’t name any riders from his squad that might miss the event next May but it is unlikely that Bradley Wiggins will be on the line in Turin. This year Wiggins used the Giro as a warm up for the French event even winning the opening prologue. Race director Angelo Zomegnan announced that Alberto Contador would race in Italy in 2011 last April. This is unlikely, however, after the events of this year and moving to Sunguard Saxo Bank for the new season.

Visit to Etna
RSC sport announced the Giro d’Italia route only four days after the Tour de France route was revealed to the world and both are set to be some of the toughest in years. Yates called, Vuelta a Espana winner, Vincenzo Nibali as the favourite as the Italian finished third in this year’s even behind teammate Ivan Basso. The event will start May 7th in Turin and do an entire loop of the country back up to Milan.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Franco Pellizotti Claims Damages from UCI after he is Cleared in Investigation

Franco Pellizotti has asked the UCI for damages after cycling’s governing body launched an investigation in to abnormal readings in his biological passport.

Pellizotti was clear to race on October 21st after months of legal battles after the UCI announced on May 3rd that they would investigate irregularities in his biological passport. He was represented in front of the TNA (Italian national anti-doping court) by team doctor Roberto Corsetti. The TNA has also asked the UCI to pay up €5000 for the investigation.

According to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport the UCI based its findings on 22 separate controlled tests. The first came back in December 2008 at Pellizotti’s house and the other two in 2009 at a training camp in April and three months later in Monaco just before the Tour de France.

Italian Cycling in Disarray

Two other Italian riders Francesco De Bonis and Pietro Caucchioli were suspended around the same time for suspicious findings in their passport, but it was decided Pellizotti’s case was different. The UCI is expected to bring an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2011 Tour de France route revealed

The 2011 route will start out in the sea and ride along a tidal causeway linking the mainland to the Isle of Noirmoutier in Vendée. It will be much tougher for some with many more mountains including the Alpe d'Huez and venture in to Italy. To mark the 100th anniversary of the Col du Galibier, first climbed in 1911, the peak will be ridden twice. The profile should favour riders like Alberto Contador if he is allowed to race after his positive clenbuterol test.. Added to the route reveal was the news that stages will now only contain one intermediate sprint to allow riders like Mark Cavendish, who mostly go for stage victories, win the green jersey.

Also included for 2011 will be 15 new Tour de France towns; Blaye-les-Mines, Cap Fréhel, Carhaix, Carmaux, Cugnaux, Galibier Serre-Chevalier, Limoux, Modane, Mont des Alouettes Les Herbiers, Mûr-de-Bretagne,Olonne-sur-Mer, Passage du Gois La Barre-de-Monts, Pinerolo (Italy),Redon andSaint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux.

The stage summary will look like this
  • 10 flat stages
  • 3 medium mountain stages
  • 6 mountain stages with 4 summit finishes
  • 1 individual time-trial stage
  • 1 team time-trial stage
  • 2 rest days

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Age Means Nothing, Jeannie Longo Rider Profile

Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli was the oldest rider during the 2010 World Championships and during those five days I became intrigued by the woman where age didn’t seem to matter.

Longo has the most impressive CV of almost any cyclist around (male or female) notching up a record breaking 1124 victories and is the current French time-trial champion which she has held it nine times. She once held the record for the most victories in a year and her career has spanned a total of 30 years.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thor Hushovd Wins Norway's First Senior Gold in Men's Elite World Championship Road Race

Thor Hushovd edged out Matti Breschel in a thrilling sprint finish in Sunday’s Elite Men’s Road Race in Geelong, Australia.

The Norwegian had too much power as he shot towards the finish line and it was left to the others to figure out the minor placings. He had shown during the Tour de France that he could survive the hills better than any other sprinter and he hung on to the peloton. He stuck himself behind the wheel of Belgium’s Greg Van Avermaet before flying around the entire group and winning by over a bikes length.

Breschel had initially led the sprint from the 100 metre mark, but he wasn’t able to hang on to the front. The Dan was visibly angry with himself as he crossed the line; he had been inches away from claiming the rainbow jersey when he was passed by the Norwegian. Allan Davis of Australia rounded off the podium position pipping Filippo Pozzato in to third who left it just a bit too late to attack.

Elite Men's Road Race Results

1 HUSHOVD Thor NOR 6:21:49 40.417
2 BRESCHEL Matti DEN " "
3 DAVIS Allan AUS " "
4 POZZATO Filippo ITA " "
7 KOLOBNEV Alexandr RUS " "
8 BAZAYEV Assan KAZ " "
9 ARASHIRO Yukiya JPN " "
10 FEILLU Romain FRA " "
11 BOLE Grega SLO " "
12 FOFONOV Dmitriy KAZ " "
14 WEGMANN Fabian GER " "
15 CARDOSO Andre Fernando S. Martins POR " "
16 SCHLECK Frank LUX " "
17 EVANS Cadel AUS " "
18 GILBERT Philippe BEL " "
19 TERPSTRA Niki NED 6:21:56 +0:07
20 LEUKEMANS Björn BEL " "

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bronzini takes the gold in the Elite Women's Road Race as Vos has to settle for silver again

Giorgia Bronzini took Italy’s second consecutive gold in the elite women’s road race as Marianne Vos had to settle for second place the fourth year in a row.

Bronzini came from behind in five way sprint to win the rainbow jersey by inching out Vos, who has come second every year since winning in Austria 2006. The Italian dedicated her victory to Franco Ballerini who was manager of the team until he was killed in a rally accident earlier in the year.

Elite Women's Road Race Results

1 BRONZINI Giorgia ITA 3:32:01 35.997
2 VOS Marianne NED " "
4 COOKE Nicole GBR " "
5 ARNDT Judith GER 3:32:02 +0:01
6 VERBEKE Grace BEL 3:32:04 +0:03
7 WORRACK Trixi GER " "
9 ARMITSTEAD Elizabeth GBR " "
10 SWART Carla RSA " "
11 CHEATLEY Catherine NZL " "
14 GRAUS Andrea AUT " "
15 WHITTEN Tara CAN " "
16 LAWS Sharon GBR " "
17 NEBEN Amber USA " "
18 PITEL Edwige FRA " "
19 VILLUMSEN Linda NZL " "
20 POOLEY Emma GBR " "

Friday, October 1, 2010

Elite Men's Road Race - Preview

Cadel Evans will take to the roads on Sunday in an attempt to defend his World Championship on home soil.

Evans will not want to give up the rainbow jersey easily and certainly not in front of his own people. He has had an up and down year, but the home crowd could be just what he needs to give him a boost.

Fabian Cancellara is also looking to put on a good show after winning a record fourth time. The Swiss rider announced his intentions before the championship to go for the road race. His compatriot Michael Albasini has also been on good form recently winning the Tour of Britain despite having dysentery during the race.

Elite Men's Road Race Start list

5 GOSS Matthew Harley  AUSTRALIA
13 GARATE Juan Manuel  SPAIN
20 GAVAZZI Francesco  ITALY

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Elite Women's Road Race Start list

1 Tatiana  ITALY
18 BECKER Charlotte  GERMANY

Under-23 Road Race start list

6 SOUPE Geoffrey  FRANCE

Fabian Cancellara claims his fourth World Championship time-trial title

Fabian Cancellara claimed a record breaking fourth World Championship Time-Trial title in Geelong.

The Swiss rider, who has been almost unbeatable this year, crossed the line over a minute ahead of second place man David Millar with a time of 58 minutes 09 seconds. He had a wobble that nearly sent him off his bike at the bridge that had caught so many people out, but in his smooth style he corrected it was went on to win. Cancellara left it late to make his decision to go to the World Championships after he suffered a shock loss to Peter Velits during the Vuelta a Espana. It could have been his fifth title but he decided to skip the 2008 championships after winning the Olympic time-trial.

Elite Men's Time-trial Results

1 Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) 0:58:09  
2 David Millar (Great Britain) 0:01:02  
3 Tony Martin (Germany) 0:01:12  
4 Richie Porte (Australia) 0:01:19  
5 Michael Rogers (Australia) 0:02:25  
6 Koos Moerenhout (Netherlands) 0:02:40  
7 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spain) 0:02:44  
8 David Zabriskie (United States Of America) 0:02:51  
9 Maciej Bodnar (Poland) 0:03:00  
10 Gustav Larsson (Sweden) 0:03:01  
11 Bert Grabsch (Germany) 0:03:06  
12 Ignatas Konovalovas (Lithuania) 0:03:07  
13 Vladimir Gusev (Russian Federation) 0:03:27  
14 Carlos Oyarzun (Chile) 0:03:30  
15 Nicolas Vogondy (France) 0:03:39  
16 Andriy Grivko (Ukraine) 0:03:40  
17 José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spain) 0:03:42  
18 Alex Rasmussen (Denmark) 0:03:45  
19 Sylvain Chavanel (France) 0:04:00  
20 Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia) 0:04:04  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Emma Pooley Takes her First Road Title at World Championship Time-Trial

Emma Pooley braved the cold weather to become the first British woman to win the World Championship time-trial.

Pooley stormed ahead of the competition to win her first international road title by beating Germany’s Judith Arndt by 15 seconds with a time of 32 minutes 48 seconds. The Londoner managed to keep her cool despite having to change her bike moments before the start after officials found a problem with it.

Disappointment for Cantele
She came over to Australia earlier this year in February to recce the course and it paid off as she mastered the difficult lumpy circuit. Pooley then had a tense wait after her run while the other seven riders had to come in including Noemi Cantele, who finished second in that time-trial and third in the road race at last year’s event.

Elite Women's Time-trial results

1 Emma Pooley (Great Britain) 0:32:48.44
2 Judith Arndt (Germany) 0:33:03.61
3 Linda Melanie Villumsen (New Zealand) 0:33:04.24
4 Amber Neben (United States Of America) 0:33:26.10
5 Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (France) 0:33:32.38
6 Evelyn Stevens (United States Of America) 0:33:48.52
7 Tara Whitten (Canada) 0:33:54.35
8 Shara Gillow (Australia) 0:34:01.62
9 Emilia Fahlin (Sweden) 0:34:10.64

10 Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) 0:34:13.99
11 Emma Johansson (Sweden) 0:34:22.32
12 Noemi Cantele (Italy) 0:34:29.59
13 Patricia Schwager (Switzerland) 0:34:39.23
14 Charlotte Becker (Germany) 0:34:42.39
15 Anne Samplonius (Canada) 0:34:43.25
16 Melissa Holt (New Zealand) 0:34:53.83
17 Tatiana Antoshina (Russian Federation) 0:35:04.70
18 Vicki Whitelaw (Australia) 0:35:07.75
19 Alexis Rhodes (Australia) 0:35:12.22
20 Olga Zabelinskaya (Russian Federation) 0:35:18.29

Elite Men's Time-trial Start list 2010

Find the 2011 start list here

13:00:00 WEEKES James SKN
13:02:00 ZEITS Andrey KAZ
13:04:00 MCCAULEY Gordon NZL
13:06:00 MARYCZ Jaroslaw POL
13:08:00 VELITS Martin SVK
13:10:00 THOMSON Jay Robert RSA
13:12:00 KANGERT Tanel EST
13:14:00 HASANOVIC Esad SRB
13:18:00 SERPA PEREZ Jose Rodolfo COL
13:20:00 MORKOV Michael DEN

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Elite Women's Road Race - Preview

The most anticipated event in the World Championships is always the Road Race and this is no different in the women’s event.

Marianne Vos might be more eager than any to win after she missed out by such small margins in the past two years. The Dutch rider lost to Tatiana Guderzo by 19 seconds in Switzerland last year and by mere inches to Nicole Cooke in Italy the year before. Sitting at the top of the UCI rankings she has to be the biggest favourite.

Elite Women's Time-trial Start list

15:00:00 LEAL BALDERAS Veronica MEX
15:01:30 YAP Kimberley MAS
15:03:00 NONTASIN Chanpeng THA
15:04:30 BERTINE Kathryn SKN
15:06:00 KALITOVSKA Lesya UKR
15:07:30 MULLER Valeria Teresita ARG1
15:09:00 MOHAMMAD Mariana MAS
15:10:30 PANINA Tatiana BLR
15:12:00 ANTONOVA Yelena KAZ

Under-23 Time Trial start list

10:00:00 EDER Frayre Moctezuma  MEX
10:02:00 VAN OVERBERGHE Arthur  BEL
10:04:00 SORENSEN Jimmi DEN
10:06:00 VINK Michael NZL
10:08:00 NOVIKOV Nikita RUS
10:10:00 HOULE Hugo CAN
10:12:00 DURBRIDGE Luke AUS
10:14:00 MAMMINI Matteo ITA
10:16:00 DILLIER Silvan SUI
10:18:00 FOMINYKH Daniil KAZ
10:20:00 SILVESTRE Fábio POR

Monday, September 27, 2010

Elite Men's and Women's World Championship Time-Trial - Preview

There are only two more days until the curtain comes up on the 2010 World Road Cycling Championships in Melbourne, Australia.

First up will be the Time-Trial where the women will compete along the same route as the men. Favourites for the title will be the multiple world champions Fabian Cancellara and Kristin Armstrong.

The course is a nice combination of undulating roads and steep climbs around the coastal area of Geelong. It won’t just be the point a squirt type route we saw in the Vuelta a Espana the riders will have to be much more tactical about their approach. The women will only get one shot with a lap of the course where the men will be completing two laps.

World Road Championships - Timetable

Tuesday 28 September Schedule
Time Trial
♦ Team managers meeting, all categories 09:00-10:00
♦ Time Trial training session, all categories 13:00-15:00
♦ Confirmation of starters, all categories 10:00-12:00
♦ Distribution of race numbers for Women Elite and U23 Men 16:00-18:00
Wednesday 29 September
Time Trial
♦ Men U231 10:00-14:05*
♦ Women Elite1 15:00-16:50 *
♦ Distribution of race numbers for Men Elite 17:30-18:00
Thursday 30 September
Road Race
♦ Team managers meeting, all categories 09:00-10:00
♦ Confirmation of starters, all categories 10:00-12:00
♦ Distribution of race numbers for Men Under 23 17:00-19:00
Time Trial
♦ Men Elite1 13:00-17:35*
Friday 1 October
Road Race
♦ Distribution of race numbers, for Women Elite and Men Elite 13:00-15:00
♦ Men Under 231 13:00-17:15*
Saturday 2 October
Road Race
♦ Women Elite1 13:00-16:35*
Sunday 3 October
Road Race
♦ Men Elite1 10:00-16:50*
*Arrival Time estimated

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Behind the Green Jersey - A profile of Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish became the first British rider to win a sprinter’s jersey, since Malcolm Elliott in 1989, when he won the Vuelta a Espana’s green jersey last week.

The Manx rider has become one of cycling’s most successful sprinters at the young age of 25; he is also the best British Tour de France winner with 15 stage victories in three attempts.

A Great Rider is Born
He has always ridden but his love of cycling took hold at the world famous Manx Cycling Week, which has in the past attracted such rider as Jacques Anquetil and Eddie Merckx. It was there he met another British rider David Millar who Cavendish says inspired him to race.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tour of Britain - Round Up

This year’s Tour of Britain boasted a high quality including Olympic champions Bradley Wiggins and Ed Clancy.

Stage one brought the riders from Rochdale to 132km up the road to the seaside town of Blackpool. Despite the tough nature of the course it was sprinter Andre Greipel who opened his account with victory. Saxo Bank rider Jonny Bellis only managed 54km before he was forced to climb off the bike. The Manxman is coming back to form after suffering from a near fatal accident in Italy last September.

Team Sky’s Greg Henderson gave the home crowd something to cheer in stage 2 about when he beat Heinrich Haussler and Michael Albasini to the line. The Kiwi was joined in the 18-man breakaway by teammates Wiggins and Geraint Thomas.

The home knowledge helped them on a course that was much more difficult than it looked on the profile.

HTC Columbia was back on the top step and back in yellow after stage 3 with Albasini crossing the line first. The stage was difficult from the start and several riders were dropped immediately the race was de-neutralised. Albasini became the third man to wear the yellow jersey in three stages.

Vacansoleil put on a big show in stage four finishing first and second after the pair launched an attack on the final climb of the day.

La Vuelta - Week Three Round-Up

Stage 15 saw the Spaniard Carlos Barredo finally break his grand tour duck with a win on the summit of Lagos de Covadonga in horrible conditions. The Quick Step rider became known for his fruitless attacks during the Tour de France this year. He finally reaped the rewards and finished over a minute ahead of second place man Nico Sijmens. He announced later that he is going to leave the Belgian team and join Rabobank next season.

Two days after losing race leader Igor Anton in a huge crash Euskaltel were on top again when Mikel Nieve left his companions on the ascent of the Cotobello. Pre-tour favourite Fränk Schleck finally showed his form after breaking his collarbone on stage three of the Tour de France. The Luxembourg road champion hadn’t made much of an impression, but chased Nieve in to second place.

The big news of the day, however, was Joaquin Rodriguez taking back the red jersey from Vincenzo Nibali after the Liquigas rider cracked and lost over 30 seconds on the final climb.

Time Trial Surprise
After the rest day came the time trial and Peter Vilets sprung the surprise of the tour after he beat Denis Menchov and Fabian Cancellara. The HTC Columbia rider put on a stunning performance and took advantage of a tail wind towards the end of the course to outclass the rest of the field.

Friday, September 17, 2010

VaE: Philip Gilbert takes his second victory in La Vuelta while Vincenzo Nibali hold on to Red

Philip Gilbert took his second victory in this year’s la Vuelta a Espana after a huge sprint in to the town of Toledo.

With just over 3km to go several riders launched an attack including Luis Leon Sanchez. They managed to pull out a small gap of around five seconds, but they were caught 1km later. The attacks broke up the peloton leaving the sprinters behind.

This allowed the explosive Belgian to start a 500 metre sprint to the line, but he was almost caught by Tyler Farrar who had survived the earlier escape attempts. Vincenzo Nibali managed to come in not too far behind the Belgian to keep a 50’ gap ahead of Ezequiel Mosquera.

Today’s stage was the longest of this year’s Vuelta and a mixture of terrain and the riders legs were tested immediately with a second category climb. The rest of the stage was very undulating, but gradually moved down and a slight incline in the last kilometre.

A break away was formed after the first and only classified climb of the day. It was Dominik Roels, who was in the break yesterday and Josep Jufre who came of the front of the bunch first. They were soon joined by Manuel Ortega and Xavier Florencio; the four men managed to pull out a massive gap very quickly.

ToB: Borut Bozic beats Greg Henderson to give Vacansoleil second victory

Borut Bozic finally managed to take victory ahead of Greg Henderson in stage 7 of the Tour of Britain.

Bozic has been the bridesmaid on a couple of occasions this year, but this time the Vacansoleil rider had the legs on the Kiwi in Colchester on the uphill finish. However, the pair were a full three seconds ahead of third place man Richie Porte. The win now puts him just over a minute behind race leader Michael Albasini who has been suffering from illness for the past few days.

The Slovenian’s victory added to Wouter Poels’ on Tuesday means Vacansoleil now sit at the top of the team classification 6’15 ahead of Sky Pro Cycling. He will hope that the departure of his teammate Pim Lighart will not hamper his hopes of staying on the podium and possibly winning the yellow jersey on the final stage.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ToB: Andre Greipel takes another victory in stage 6 of the Tour of Britain

Andre Greipel won his second sprint finish in Stage six of this year’s Tour of Britain in Great Yarmouth.

The German had too much pace for Borut Bozic and went on to claim his 20th victory of the season. If he hadn’t had Mark Cavendish as a teammate this man would surely have a few Grand Tour victories under his belt this season.

Greipel also won the opening stage from Rochdale to Blackpool beating Manuel Belletti to the line. The victory was also the second today for his team, fellow sprinter Mark Cavendish won his third stage in la Vuelta a Espana.

Mayer Makes the Brake
Cameron Mayer from Garmin-Transitions made a brave attempt for a victory today and it looked like he could do it. He launched an escape with Jeremy Hunt initially but the Cervelo ride was soon dropped and Jaroslav Marycz joined Mayer. The two managed to build up a big lead of seven minutes assisted by a tail wind most of the way, but the Aussie launched an attack and lost his Saxo Bank companion.

VaE: Mark Cavendish beat JJ Haedo to his third victory in La Vuelta

Mark Cavendish took his third victory just ahead of JJ Haedo in a sprint in stage 18 of this year’s Vuelta a Espana.

The Manxman had a good start to the tour winning the team time-trial, but he went through a brief barren patch during the first week. He took his first victory back in stage 12 and he’s won every sprint since then. The 25-year-old has extended his lead in the green jersey competition and it looks likely that he will wear it in Madrid.

It has been a good day for the HTC Columbia team who took a sprint victory in the guise of Andre Greipel in stage five of the Tour of Britain.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ToB: Marco Frapporti beat Bradley Wiggins to the line in Tour of Britain Stage 5

Marco Frapporti beat home favourite Bradley Wiggins after a late break in stage 5 of the Tour of Britain.

Frapporti was in a breakaway group of seven riders before launching his attack along with Dan Martin with 10 kilometres to go. The pair managed to pull out a small gap on the lead group, but after the exertions of yesterday Irishman struggled to stay on the pace.

At 5km to go Martin was dropped, when Frapporti attacked on a small incline, and passed swiftly by the following riders; Wiggins was the only man who could keep up with the Italian using his pursuiting skill to bridge the gap, but he just could catch up with him before the finish.

VaE: Peter Vilets takes surprise win as Rodriguez loses the red jersey again in Stage 17

Peter Velits took a surprising victory in today’s 45km time-trial in Peñafiel beating Denis Menchov as Joaquin Rodriguez lost his red jersey after a terrible day on the bike

Velits rode himself up the classification overtaking Nicolas Roche, Frank Schleck and Rodriguez to put him in a podium position with less than a week to go. The HTC Columbia man had been sixth place, but was able to take advantage of tail winds towards the end of the course to boost his time.

Rodriguez has a Bad Day
Rodriguez struggled to keep the speed up and lost over four minutes on his closest rivals tumbling down the timings. The Spaniard held a lead of 33 seconds ahead of Vincenzo Nibali at the start of the day, but he now lays down in 5th 3’45 down on the Italian.

Nibali had his own heart stopping moment when he got a puncture on his front wheel. The Liquigas rider went for the spare bike as his mechanic went to put a new wheel on his bike. After a brief moment of confusion he was back on his bike, but he lost around 20 seconds in the change.

Menchov went someway to salvaging his 2010 tour; the Russian has won this tour twice in 2005 and 2007 but he has failed to impress so far and was lying 42nd over an hour behind the leader Joaquin Rodriguez. Menchov put in a brilliant ride to beat Swiss World Champion Cancellara by 25 seconds.