Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Aussies send top squad to track world cup

Cycling Australia is pleased to confirm the riders selected in the Cyclones team to contest the final round of the UCI Track World Cup Series being staged in London from 16 to 18 February.
"This will be our only opportunity to race on the Olympic velodrome and familiarise both athletes and staff with the environment ahead of the Games. The World Cup will help sharpen our team focus, knowing that there is just over 180 days to go before first event of the Olympic track program," said Cycling Australia's National Performance Director, Kevin Tabotta. "It will also give us an idea of where the rest of the world is in terms of preparation for the upcoming World Championships in Melbourne in April."
Tabotta says tough decisions have had to be made by selectors and communicated to the athletes who have not been selected for the London world cup round.
"We are on target to qualify the maximum track places for the Games so the focus now it to ensure we are in the best possible position to win medals in London. That means setting targets for teams and individuals and making sure they know what is expected of them as we come close to nominating teams for the worlds and the Olympic Games."
The Cyclones head to the London World Cup Round with an impressive line up of world champions including sprint and keirin champion Anna Meares along with her team sprint world champion partner Kaarle McCulloch. In the men's sprint events Shane Perkins sports the rainbow stripes of keirin world champion.
Selectors have named six track endurance men including Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Luke Durbridge and Michael Hepburn, who are the reigning team pursuit world champions while Bobridge also has the 2011 individual pursuit world tile to his name. 2011 junior world champion, Alex Edmondson and 2012 Omnium national champion Glenn O'Shea are also in the mix for a seat on the plane but only five of the six will be heading to London.
The four round World Cup series kicked off in Astana last November before heading to Colombia in December and China earlier this month. The London round is also the official 'London Prepares' track cycling test event for the London Olympic Games being staged on the Olympic velodrome.
After the World Cup Series the world's best cyclists will head to Melbourne to contest the 2012 UCI Track World Championships . The Australian Cyclones for the world championships will be named on 14 March.
The team for the London UCI World Cup round is listed below:
Cyclones Australian Team

Say hello ;)

Monday, 30 January 2012

Yong Li recalled for national service

IT'S not the first time he's received an 11th hour call-up to prepare for  national duty, but Ng Yong Li will not be taking his chance to ride in the Asian  Cycling Championships next week lightly despite the rushed nature of it.
    The 26-year-old was informed by the Malaysian National  Cycling Federation (MNCF) last Saturday that he has to report for selection this  Saturday, where he'll vie for the sole spot in the Asian Championships  individual time trial with Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi.

    It  would have been easier for Yong Li to turn down the call-up, as he's not been  preparing specifically for time trials and should stake his claim for a spot in  the road race squad instead.

   After all, Yong Li was the  country's best performer in the ill-fated Sea Games road programme last year  where he finished fourth in the road race.

   "There's no way  I'm going to turn it down, so I'll just prepare the best I can for the time  trial. If I get selected then I will have to perform," said Yong Li.

   "I was only told yesterday (Saturday) that I'll have to attend the  selection with Fauzan, so it took me by surprise, but there's no hesitation when  we're asked to ride for the country. I just have to do it."

    Fauzan has been part of a nine-man training squad under new national coach Syed  Mohd Hussaini Syed Mazlan, which has just completed a month-long training camp  in Kuala Terengganu.

   Yong Li, who recently signed with  Iranian team Azad University, has been more focused on his solo training  programme to prepare for Le Tour de Langkawi, the Jelajah Malaysia, the Tour of  Taiwan and several UCI Asia Tour races in Iran.

   He's also  looking forward to a debut in the prestigious Tour of Qinghai Lake in China in  July, where Azad University also will feature.

   "We have a  good racing programme this year, so I will be focusing a lot on my career with  Azad University after this. Who knows, with good results, I might be considered  for one of the slots for the Olympic road events," said Yong Li.

   "To make the Olympics team is definitely one of my targets."

UCI commits to Tour de l'Avenir training initiative

The International Cycling Union is to launch an initiative to promote the training of the professions of cycling at the Tour de l'Avenir from 2012. As the final round of the UCI U23 Nations' Cup, the French event is an ideal environment for those learning or improving skills at cycle events, such as commissaires, regulators, Radio Tour announcers, information motorbike officials, drivers, etc.

Those involved in the training will gain experience under real conditions, under the responsibility of the UCI and its partners, at a well-established event that includes mountain stages. The training will be further developed in the future, but this year it will comprise two groups of 10 trainees, each involved for half of the event.

The Tour de l'Avenir, organised by Amaury Sport Organisation, and now operated by Alpes Vélo, will take place from 26 August to 1 September.

In order to reinforce its identity, the Tour de l'Avenir will be held in the same region every year: the eastern half of France and neighbouring countries, with the cols of the Alps as the event's highlight.

UCI President Pat McQuaid, said:

"This initiative shows that the UCI is committed to assisting youth and developing the sport over the long term. The UCI particularly wants to develop access to the professions of cycling as well as to improve the knowledge of those involved in running events. It is for this reason that we are going to invest in high-level practical training. In this way the Tour de l'Avenir will not only be a springboard for the most talented riders in the peloton but also for those involved in the practicalities of running cycle races."

The kickflip

Australian track champs, final scores

Anna Meares, Matthew Glaetzer and Jack Bobdige steered South Australia to the top of the rankings on the final night of racing at the 2012 Subaru Cycling Australia Track National Championships at the Adelaide Super-Drome.
Meares and Glaetzer were crowned national keirin champions while Bobridge gave the locals something else to cheer for when he added a third gold medal to his week's tally with a colossal performance in the men's points race. Isabella King claimed the elite scratch race title for WA while in the under 19 events New South Wales won the Madison and Victoria won both the junior men's team sprint and the junior women's sprint.
Annette Edmondson (SA) was named the elite Champion of Champions for her gold medals in the individual pursuit, scratch and points races. Her win in the individual pursuit, where she recorded the fastest time ever ridden on Australian soil (3:30.586), was named the 'Ride of the Series'. The junior Champion of Champions prize went to Queensland's Taylah Jennings who won three individual and one team gold medal.
Women's Keirin
Meares' win in the keirin brought her career tally of Australian track titles to 29 but she had to fend off a late charge from Sydney's Kaarle McCulloch to secure the victory.
"I'm not after the easy win, I'm after the win that's going to make me better," said Meares who also won team sprint and sprint gold medals this week. "And that hurt like hell. The old lactic acid isn't anyone's friend, is it?"
Meares grabbed the wheel of the derny pace bike from the start and used it to full advantage, powering away from her rivals as the bike left the track. She surged to a massive lead and McCulloch, who was caught in traffic, had to firstly pass four others before she could try to close the gap. She made up ground quickly but Meares held on to win by mere centimetres.
"When I saw I'd drawn one and Kaarle had drawn six, I thought that was a good opportunity to put some distance between us and make her work really hard as well," explained Meares of the draw that put her at the bottom of the track and McCulloch at the top on the start line.

"I realised the gap was significant, but not enough to withstand a good run from Kaarle, so I had to really commit otherwise I was going to find myself in the position where I was going to be run down," she said. "This is the most level event for the two of us to come head-to-head, you saw that, I won it by half a tyre. (But) I'd rather almost lose than almost win."

But the pair will soon reunite for the team sprint in which they have won the world title for the past three years.
"I'm actually really excited, I feel like I've taken a great deal of confidence from these championships," said Meares. "The plan that Gary (West - coach) has for me is working and that goes a long way when you're out there on your own - sometimes that trust or backing is all you have.
"I will be leaning on that for sure," Meares added.
McCulloch had no regrets after collecting one gold and three silver medals at the championships.
"I wasn't quite expecting the gap to open up that quickly, but I bided my time and I went as hard as I could, but I guess I just needed five more metres of track," said McCulloch. "But I am happy with how I rode today as I think it was probably one of the first keirin championships where I had a little bit of patience.
"Plus, I was a good deal off her at the 200m mark and I almost got her, so I have to be pretty happy with the speed in my legs right now," she said.
Men's Points Race
Jack Bobridge was under attack from all quarters in a fast and furious men's 40km points race but prevailed to claim his third win of the week.
The pace was on from the start of the 160 lap marathon, with Bobridge, Jackson-Leigh Rathbone (NSW) and West Australia's Michael Freiberg in amongst most of the action early.
Bobridge grabbed sprint points at every opportunity and jumped into the key move of the race that came with 70 laps remaining, when he joined Rathbone, Sean Finning (VIC), Mitchell Mulhern (QLD), Jack Beckinsale (NSW) and Bradley Robson (WA) in a break that gave the sextet a lap on the field and a valuable 20 point bonus.
Jackson Law (NSW) then countered with a lightning fast solo effort and before the bunch had a chance to respond he had lapped them and collected 20 points. In the remaining laps, Bobridge, Law and Rathbone continued to pile on the sprint points with Bobridge cementing an unassailable lead with 20 laps to go. However Law and Rathbone were neck and neck for silver and the two battled all the way to the fininshing line where Rathbone edged Law on the line to take the five points but Law's three points for being second across the line in the final sprint was enough to give him a one point buffer and the silver medal.
The final result gave Bobridge gold on 52 points, eight ahead of Law on 44pts with Rathbone in third palce on 43pts.
Men's Keirin
Nineteen-year-old Matthew Glaetzer thrilled the crowd with a display of power and control that belied his years to claim his maiden senior keirin crown.
"It's massive, I didn't expect it to be honest," said Glaetzer, who burst on to the international scene at 17 when he won the sprint/keirin double at the junior world titles. "I just went out there and tried to execute my perfect race to win and it came together."
Glaetzer unleashed a withering burst of speed that left the rest of the field, including reigning world champion Shane Perkins, scramblingfor position in his wake.
At the bell lap Glaetzer was still in front with Perkins boxed in by the NSW duo of Andrew Taylor and Mitch Bullen. Spurred on by his hometown fans Glaetzer, a former pole vaulter, lunged at the line to clinch the win from Taylor with Bullen third. Perkins finished fourth.
"I knew I had to get to the front, put myself in a position to win and make it really hard for the others to come around," said Glaetzer, who teamed with Glasspool and Nathan Corrigan on Friday night to win the team sprint title.
"I expected Perkins to charge, and when I spotted him near the back I thought if he's going to win this, he's going to have to hit and get to the front.
"Then I saw him attack and responded pretty hard to make sure I kept front position, which I did." added Glaetzer.
Women's Scratch Race
West Australia's Isabella King timed her run perfectly, attacking the field just prior to the bell lap, to sprint home for gold in the women's scratch race.
King and team mate Sarah Kent set much of the early pace, with Kent and Tasmania's Amy Cure involved in a number of attacks throughout the race. But none stuck and with all eyes on the in form Annette Edmondson (SA) King chose the right moment to pounce.
She rode clear of the field and then held off a fast fininshing Edmondson on the line.
"I didn't know if Nettie or I got it or not, so when I realised, I just threw my hands up, I am so happy," said King. "Nettie is a such a good rider so I knew I had to go early as I wouldn't be able to get around her in the last half.
"And I was a bit angry from the last few days as I haven't performed like I wanted to so I just used all that anger tonight," King added.
A crash with 300 metres to go brought down Canberra riders Rebecca Wiasak and Sally Bowman with the latter sustaining a broken collar bone.
Under 19 Men's Madison
In the under 19 Madison the New South Wales duo of Tirian McManus and Jack McCulloch survived a late fight-back by New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) pair Caleb Ewan and Nathan Bradshaw to grab the gold.
McManus and McCulloch, the younger brother of sprint star Kaarle, scored points in the first five of the six sprints contested, and of those won maximum points in the first and third sprints, to establish a solid six point margin over Ewan and Bradshaw.
The pace lifted in the last 40 laps of the 120 lap event and NSWIS moved to within two points of the lead with only one sprint remaining.
West Australia's Linfield attacked with five laps to go and Victoria also challenged to dash the NSWIS hopes of a snatching victory.
McManus and McCulloch scored a winning tally of 16 points, while Ewan and Bradshaw placed second on 15 points. The bronze medal went to Queensland's Owen Gillott and Jesse Kerrison who claimed 13 points.
Under 19 Women's Sprint
In the under 19 women's sprint Victorian Caitlin Ward defeated West Australia's Allee Proud to claim the gold medal.
Ward breezed through qualifying and accounted for Korea's Jihae Park in the semi finals in straight heats, before also overcoming Proud in straight heats.
"Its the biggest week of my season, and I have worked hard for this and although I am drained and tired, the idea of winning a medal just took over," said Ward. "I am not very good at sprint matches, I usually stuff them up, so my coaches were in my ear today telling me to control the race.
"So all I could think of in the race was control, don't stuff it up, control, control, control. I think I did that pretty well tonight," added Ward.
Ward's team mate Tian Beckett defeated Park in the bronze medal match up.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

British Madison Championship 2012

Final Revolution in Manchester

The National Cycling Centre in Manchester was completely sold out as Olympic hero Sir Chris Hoy ramped up his preparation for the UCI Track World Cup at the new London Olympic velodrome.

Hoy qualified fastest in the morning session, but lost out on the initial face off against Jason Kenny and was unable to get the better of some of his sprinting rivals. With the test event just two weeks away and the Olympics only six months down the line, the Revolution provided a perfect backdrop for some serious sprinting competition.

It was Jason Kenny who eventually won the Revolution Sprint Competition, with consistent performances, started off by taking Hoy by surprise in the first round.

But in the Cycling Weekly Keirin, Hoy really showed that he is still the one to watch ahead of the Olympics, winning convincingly after taking the race from the back.

“It was a good night,” said Hoy. “I was disappointed with my sprint, it’s an area I’m trying to make less and less errors.”

Hoy finished off his evening of competition with the Team Sky vs France Team Sprint, where he made up the British trio with Jason Kenny and Matt Crampton. They were victorious in 44.320 over the French’s 46.624.

“To win the Keirin was great. In the team sprint we had a bit of an issue, Matt’s saddle rail broke on turn three and he went off the track but came back on; for a minute I thought he was going to crash in front of me,” explained Hoy. “I almost bailed completely and went up the track, but in the end I didn’t realise how far the French were down.

“We’re far from worried about the team sprint, all you can do is train the best you can; train hard, train smart, and that’s what we’re doing. We’re putting in some pretty horrendous training sessions at the moment.”

Hoy added: “It’s been a good day and it’s a stepping stone towards the World Cup in London. I want to win whether it’s the Revolution or the Olympics.”

In the Revolution Elite Endurance events, Maxgear kicked things off with a win in the Team Elimination; the increasingly formidable trio of Adam Yates, Simon Yates and Harry Tanfield proving too much for the competition.

Team Sky’s Alex Dowsett looked in good form after the Tour Down Under season opener. He took the Points Race win, ahead of Michael Mørkøv, after missing out in the National Madison Championships during the afternoon.

Team UK Youth’s Claudio Imhof and Mark Christian did some work to maintain their series standings by taking the 1km Madison Time Trial in 59.036. 

The Derny Scratch Race was a hugely popular addition to the Revolution programme, with each endurance rider being allocated their own derny bike as a pacer, which ended in a sprint; Simon Yates took the victory in that one.

Michael Mørkøv built on his second place in the Points Race to take the win in the Scratch Race, ahead of the in-form Simon Yates.

In the DHL Future Stars, the unbeatable Emily Kay (Cunga Bikes) and Jake Ragen (Maxgear Racing) held their respective leads, ending the season on a high. Throughout this Revolution Championships, they have proved they are formidable riders and ones to watch for the future.

At the end of the Revolution Series 9, Maxgear Racing takes the Championship with 685 points, ahead of Sky Pro Cycling with 654, and Howies with 636.

The hour-long highlights of Revolution 36 will be shown on Monday 30th January 2012 at 7pm on ITV4.

Revolution Championship
Maxgear Racing – 685
Sky Pro Cycling – 654
Howies – 636 
Chep UK – 624
Team UK Youth – 619
Rapha Condor Sharp – 559
Rouleur – 549
Cunga Bikes - 433

Conduct Zero

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Australian track champs update

Reigning sprint world champion Anna Meares won her sixth national sprint title in an electrifying night of racing at the 2012 Subaru Cycling Australia Track Championships at Adelaide's Super-Drome.
A lightning strike hit the velodrome early in the program frying the cables that feed information to the timing system, scoreboard and start gates but when racing resumed the sparks were flying on the track.
Canberra's Alex Bird caused the upset of the championships to win the men's sprint crown, while South Australians Jack Bobridge and Annette Edmondson collected more gold for their collection. In the women's team pursuit Josephine Tomic, Melissa Hoskins and Sarah Kent gave West Australia their fifth straight win.
Women's Sprint
Anna Meares was the fastest qualifier and breezed through to the finals where she easily accounted for Canberra's Catherine Culvenor in the semi finals.
Looking resplendent in her world champion's rainbow striped skinsuit and matching helmet that she calls her 'attitude hat', Meares then faced her team sprint world champion partner Kaarle McCulloch in the gold medal final proving too strong to take the win in two straight heats.
"I am very pleased, I (now) have 28 Australian titles, so that's one for each birthday," said Meares, whose elite national titles total 22.
"I am always quite nervous to come up against Kaarle as there's a lot of pride on the line at nationals," said Meares who also got the better of McCulloch in the team sprint. "I know how much she wants it, but I know how much I want it too."
Meares was pleased to be racing against a rider of McCulloch's calibre knowing the UCI Track World Cup round in London is only three weeks away and will also be the official London Olympic Games test event.
"As Australians we don't get a lot of competition and we have to travel halfway around the world to get it, so to have that level of competition against Kaarle, it's great," said Meares. "She is a formidable opponent and she is only young, she is going to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come, that's for sure."
Meares will try for her third gold medal of the championships when she contests the keirin on Sunday, an event in which she is also the reigning world champion.
"I hoping that with each competition I can step up the level of performance a little bit and a little bit and a little bit and aim to be better than I've ever been by the time the Games come around in August," she added.
In the bronze medal ride, Victoria's Ziggy Callan, a former BMX rider, defeated Culvenor.
Men's Sprint
Canberra's Alex Bird scored the upset of the week to win the coveted men's sprint crown. First 'Birdman' eliminated fastest qualifier Matthew Glaetzer (SA) in the semi final and then took on 2010 world championship sprint silver medallist and defending Australian champion Shane Perkins in the final.
The Victorian was pipped on the line in a photo finish first heat and in the second thought he had levelled the scorecard when he sprinted to a four length lead heading into the final 200 metres. But Bird flew over the boards swooping on Perkins in the final metre to claim the gold medal.
"I am a bit beyond words at the moment," said Bird, 26. "I never thought I would ever break through to win an individual title, so this is just bloody amazing."
Bird, who claimed the sprint bronze medal in both 2009 and 2010, qualified fourth fastest behind Glaetzer, Andrew Taylor (NSW) and Perkins. He cruised through the morning's quarter finals and then tried to relax to prepare for tonight's racing.
"I went home and I tried to have a nap but my heart was pounding so fast I couldn't get to sleep," said Bird who tonight harnessed his nerves and the support of his posse of family and friends in the stands to claim the top step of the podium.
"Never did I ever think I'd beat Shane Perkins, I mean he has been the best rider in the sport In Australia for years now," said Canberra's Bird, who lives in Adelaide and is a member of the Cycling Australia / AIS High Performance Program. "In both of the heats, I didn't think I was going to get him, and then I was thinking, 'man I am going to get him'.
"I was so amazed after the semi final when I beat Matthew Glaetzer, who is one of the best young bike riders we have seen in years. I never thought I'd beat him, let alone Shane Perkins in the final.
Women's Points Race
Annette Edmondson claimed her second gold medal of the titles with an dominant performance in the women's points race.
She came into the event on the back of posting the fastest time ever ridden on Australian soil to win Friday's individual pursuit and signalled her strategy early in the 100 lap event.
She won seven of the ten sprints contested andt hat was enough to counter the attack of West Australia's Sarah Kent and Canberra's Rebecca Wiasak who lapped the field to collect 20 points each.
Heading into the final sprint Edmondson had a one point lead over Keny but stormed home to claim the five points and the win.
Her total was 38 points with Kent claiming silver on 35 points while Wiasak claimed third place with 28 points.
"I felt OK in the sprints, but Kent was just on fire and after she took that lap, and without the scoreboard working, it was really hard to tell how many points I needed to get," said Edmondson. "It was all a bit hectic, but I knew I just had to keep chipping away and get as many points as possible.
"I thought mid way through the race that I didn't feel fresh at all and thought the individual pursuit may have taken it out of me. But most of the girls tonight had to ride two team pursuits today, so I figured they'd be hurting just as much, if not more than me," said Edmondson.
Men's Scratch Race
Earlier in the night South Australia's Jack Bobridge delighted his home crowd with a sizzling performance to win the men's 15km scratch race.
The 60 lap event was marred by a nasty crash that forced officials to stop the race with one lap left on the board. A puncture saw Scott Law (NSW) lose control and crash taking West Australian Stephen Hall and Tasmania's Peter Loft with him. The medals were awarded based on the placings across the line on the bell lap.
That gave Bobridge the gold medal and was just reward for the Gawler rider who set the race alight with a solo attack that resulted him going one lap up on the field by the half way point.
West Australian Michael Freiberg tried to counter with South Australian Edward Bissaker & Law hot on his wheel but try as they might they couldn't gain back the lost lap.
2006 Commonwealth Games points race gold medalist Sean Finning had a dig inside the final ten laps and Bobridge tagged along to protect his lead. The pair were well clear of the bunch when the crash happened and Bissaker was awarded the bronze medal.
"To come back and to win last night and tonight is awesome for me," said Bobridge, who last night joined his South Australian team mates to win gold with the fastest ever team pursuit time ridden on Australian soil.
"It wasn't easy taking that lap, I hit it pretty hard to get that gap and I did nearly blow, I had to back off a bit and get going again," explained Bobridge. "I'm not 100 per cent fit at the moment, so I think it's more hunger to get back on top and to get right for the worlds (championships).
"I had really bad legs this morning, but I went out on the rollers, flushed out last night's race and did a lot of recovery this morning."
With his second gold medal of the championships in the bag, Bobridge now turns his attention to what will be a huge year for the twenty-year-old.
"Everything I do know is geared towards the first week of April in Melbourne for the Track Worlds," said Bobridge. "To win the teams pursuit with the boys and the individual pursuit, to win those, they would be my goals completed.
"My hunger is at an all time high," he added.
Women's Team Pursuit
In the women's team pursuit, West Australia claimed it's fifth consecutive title. The trio of Josephine Tomic, Melissa Hoskins and Sarah Kent clocked a tie of 3:21.618, just outside the record of 3:21.427 set by Tomic, Hoskins and Isabella King in 2011.
They caught and passed the ACT team of Allison Rice, Rebecca Wiasak and Allie McDonald on the sixth of twelve laps but rode on to complete the distance.
"We are pretty lucky we have such strength in West Australia in this event and this is always a fun event for the three of us," said Tomic who has played a role in all five of the WA team pursuit victories.
"We were trying for a sub (3:) 20 today, but with the delays it kind of set things back," said Tomic. "But we can't be upset with that time as it's the fastest we have ridden in a while, so we are pretty happy.
After claiming her fourth title, Hoskins praised her team mates.
"I love riding with these girls, it is far and away the best part of nationals, I love it. Sure the time was a bit slower than we wanted, but we can't complain with gold," said Hoskins.
The New South Wales trio of Ashlee Ankudinoff, Brie Dutton and Holly Heffernan were awarded the bronze medal based on clocking the third fastest qualifying time of 3:38. 848.
Under 19 Women's Team Pursuit
Queensland's Taylah Jennings, Alexandra O'Dea and Hayley Jones (3:31.632) defeated West Australia's Emily McRedmond, Kelsey Robson and Elissa Wundersitz in the under 19 women's gold medal final.
Under 19 Men's Keirin
In the under 19 men's keirin, Victoria's Jacob Schmid broke through for his first individual track nationals gold medal. Schmid crossed the line ahead of team mate Emerson Harwood with Canberra's Thomas Clarke in third place.
Under 19 Men's Scratch Race
Victoria made it two from two in the men's under 19 racing tonight when Evan Hull edged out Tirian McManus (NSW) on the line to in the scratch race. Dual 2011 junior world champion Caleb Ewan claimed the bronze medal.

UCI award world champs for coming years

UCI Management Committee:
UCI Track Cycling World Championships
in Belarus and Colombia in 2013 and 2014

The Management Committee of the International Cycling Union (UCI) met in Koksijde (BEL) on the occasion of the 2012 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships to be held this weekend.
In its first meeting of the year, and with the participation of two new members, David Lappartient (FRA) and Igor Viktorovich Makarov (RUS), the Management Committee awarded the UCI Track Cycling World Championships to Minsk (BLR) in 2013 and Cali (COL) in 2014.  

The following UCI World Championships were also awarded at the meeting:
2013 Mountain Bike Masters: Pietermaritzburg (RSA)
2014 Para-cycling Road: Greenville, South Carolina (USA)
2015 Cyclo-cross: Tabor (CZE)

Come on Harry

Friday, 27 January 2012

Bartali's heroic ride

Bartali rescued Jews during the war
Tribute to the Italian champion on Holocaust Memorial Day

One of the greatest champions in the history of cycling, Gino Bartali, could be made one of the “Righteous” in Israel. Almost 70 years after the events, and twelve years after his death, evidence is finally coming to light of his hitherto unknown actions during the Second World War, which helped to save the lives of 800 Jews.
In 1943 Bartali, who had already won the Tour de France once and the Giro d’Italia twice, was assigned to the traffic police by the fascist regime, before leaving the job on 8 September. That was when he went underground, choosing to help persecuted Jews by smuggling identity photos to a convent that produced counterfeit papers. As far as the soldiers who guarded the road between Florence and San Quirico, near Assisi, were concerned, Bartali was merely on a 380-km training run. In fact, valuable documents were hidden inside the frame and saddle of his bicycle.
Details about Bartali’s actions began to emerge just two or three years ago, thanks to a university research project that collected testimony from a nun, Holocaust survivors and their descendants. Andrea Bartali, his son, has continued this research with the support of the Jewish community in Tuscany and the journalist Laura Guerra .  In Israel, the Yad Vashem Memorial is currently studying the evidence with a view to granting Bartali the posthumous distinction of “Righteous Among the Nations”, awarded to those who placed their lives in danger to save Jews.
Right up to his death, Bartali rarely spoke about these acts of bravery, keeping them secret even from his wife.  One day he said, simply: “Good is something you do, not something you talk about.  Some medals are pinned to your soul, not to your jacket.”
Towards the end of 1943 he was thrown into prison for 45 days, officially because of his support for the Vatican, which opposed the fascist regime. By chance he was never required to appear before the special war tribunal and was set free without trial.
On his release he resumed his career and won a third Giro d’Italia and a second Tour de France, while the tifosi couldn’t get enough of his legendary rivalry with Fausto Coppi.
Today the Fondazione Bartali honours his memory and reiterates one of the great champion’s sayings: “If sport is not a school of life and brotherhood, it is worthless.”

The Fondazione Bartali has launched an appeal for testimony about Bartali’s actions to help Jews.

Records tumbling at Aussie champs

Three of the fastest times ever recorded in Australia were ridden today at the 2012 Subaru Cycling Australia Track National Championships at the Adelaide Super-Drome.
South Australia's Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Alexander Edmondson and Glenn O'Shea blazed their way to an all comers record for the 4km team pursuit with an astonishing 3:56.834. Fellow South Australian Annette Edmondson inked her name in the record book in qualifying and then bettered the mark in the final of the women's 3km individual pursuit where she won gold in a time of 3:30.586.
Outside temperatures were in the mid-30s and inside the velodrome conditions were perfect for fast times and scuttlebutt around the vene was that the South Australian quartet, featuring two reigning world champions in Bobridge and Dennis, had their eye on a record.
Powering around the track in front of an adoring home crowd they were almost two seconds ahead of their rivals at the one kilometre mark and at half way were more than four seconds faster.
Queensland's quartet of world champion Michael Hepburn, Mitchell Mulhern, Nicholas Schultz and Jesse Kerrison were doing a fair pace themselves but SA was gaining with every pedal stroke.
Five laps from the finish SA caught and passed Queensland before powering on to record the fastest ever time on Australian soil. It shaved 79 thousandths of a second off the 2010 time of 3:56.913 set by Bobridge and Hepburn with Leigh Howard and Cameron Meyer at the Track World Cup in Melbourne.
The time was also faster than that ridden, albeit on a different track and under different conditions, by Bobridge, Dennis, Hepburn and West Australian Luke Durbridge to win the the 2011 world title in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.
For Bobridge, who missed last week's Santos Tour Down Under due to a hand injury sustained when he crashed in the time trial at the road nationals earlier this month, the win was sweet consolation.
"I've had a bit of a run lately with sickness and crashes, so to come back and do that, it boosts my confidence as well," said Bobridge whose last team pursuit effort was in Apeldoorn. "To be honest, I didn't expect to see 3:56 on the board, but sometimes you need something like that just to give you a bit of a kickstart again.
"It's just shows we have depth there in the team pursuit, with young guys like Alex coming up and being able to start and finish a '56 ride.
"Also it doesn't just give the state team confidence, it gives the national team a good look in and confidence leading into the next world cup and to the worlds," Bobdrige added after being presented with the Southcott Cup for the third straight year.
Dennis meantime has had a pehnomenal month winning both the national under 23 road race and time trial titles before taking out the mountain classification and best young rider jersey for his fifth place overall at the Santos Tour Down Under. He pulled out with four laps remaining in the morning's qualifying ride, but recovered well for the final.
"Obviously it's been a long month and it sort of caught up to me," admitted Dennis. "It was more a mental battle, not being able to finish that heat hurt me a little bit.

"It helped as well putting me fourth wheel as after Tour Down Under I don't have a lot of that initial burst so it let me settle in a bit more.

"I didn't do as much as these guys, but I just made sure my turns were hard," Dennis added.
Queensland's Hepburn was in awe of his counterparts after receiving his silver medal.
"That was a fairly classy ride by SA, and there wasn't a lot we could do tonight and we thought we were moving alright, but then they just steamed right around us," said Hepburn, who last night won the individual pursuit crown. "They have four world class riders and two world champions, so we did what we could do.
"Having said that, is great for the sport and an event like this that the event can attract so many world champions.
"There are not many sports in the world where you can pay $10 and see so many of the world's best in the sport compete at an event like this," added Hepburn.
The fourth member of the world champion team, Luke Durbridge, joined Michael Freiberg, Stephen Hall and Bradley Robson to secure the bronze medal for West Australia, posting a time of 4:05.507 which was too good for the New South Wales team of Benjamin Harvey, Scott and Jackson Law and Jackson-Leigh Rathbone (4:06.02).
In the women's 3km individual pursuit final, South Australia's Annette Edmondson backed up her blistering qualifying time with an even quicker final.
Earlier in the day, she posted 3:30.586 to eclipse the mark set eight years ago by New Zealand's Sarah Ulmer at the 2004 World Championships in Melbourne.
Tonight Edmondson went over half a second faster in the final crossing the line in 3:30.078 to finish seven seconds ahead of Ashlee Ankuindoff of New South Wales who stopped the clock in 3:37.264.
"I was feeling a little bit flat between qualifying and the final - I didn't know how I was going to go," admitted Edmondson. "But I just wanted to back up, I wanted to go out there and do another good time.
"I didn't expect to go another 3:30 - that was definitely not part of my imagination.

"I'm absolutely rapt, I'm so happy with my form right now ... it's better than what I wanted it to be," Edmondson added.

Defending champion Josephine Tomic (3:35.241) from West Australia defeated team mate Melissa Hoskins (3:41.049) in the bronze medal race.
In the under 19 men's team pursuit Victoria won the Bill Young Trophy for the third year in a row after defeating South Australia in the final.
Reigning junior world champions Jack Cummings and Alexander Morgan, plus Thursday's time trial gold medallist, Zac Shaw and Evan Hull, combined to ride a time of 4:08.745. They were more than six seconds faster than South Australia's Joshua Harrison, Thomas Kaesler, Robert-Jon McCarthy and Miles Scotson (4:14.830).
"It is fantastic to back it up for Victoria and especially with the rainbow bands on for Alex and I," said Cummings who teamed with Alexander Morgan, Caleb Ewan and Jackson Law to win the junior world title in Moscow last August.
"I haven't really had the best nationals so far, so to come out and ride a really solid time with a great bunch of guys, it's awesome," said Cummings. "The pressure of the rainbow jerseys is something good as it gives you that extra burst to go that little bit harder."
The New South Wales team of Caleb Ewan, Nathan Bradshaw, Tirian McManus and Nicholas Yallouris (4:14.491) claimed the bronze medal against West Australia's Trent Derecourt, Bradley Lindfield, Luke Vitler and Theodore Yates (4:17.480).
In the under 19 men's sprint Victoria's Emerson Harwood broke through for his first national title. Harwood was the fastest qualifier and dispatched team mate Jacob Schmid in straight heats in the best of three medal round to claim gold. 
"I have mixed emotions right now about how hard I have worked, it means a lot," said Harwood. "The final against Jacob was tough as we know each other really well so we had to play some different moves."  
South Australia's Alex Radikiewicz was too good for team mate Jai Angsuthasawit to claimed the bronze medal, also in straight heats.
Victoria's Caitlin Ward claimed her maiden Australian title taking out the women's under 19 keirin. Ward attacked at the bell lap and held off a strong charge from Korea's Jihae Park who was second with West Australia's Allee Proud third across the line. 

"I am just so happy, this is just amazing," said Ward.  "My uncle told me at my very first race that 'when the flag drops, the BS stops', so when I attacked I just gave it my all as I figured that nothing I did at that moment could be worse than if I did nothing at all."
In the women's sprint quarter finals reigning world champion Anna Meares and Sydney's Kaarle McCulloch breezed through to the semi finals where Meares will face Catherine Culvenor and McCulloch rides against with Victoria's Ziggy Callan.  
The thrilling program of racing wrapped up with the under 19 men's and women's points races.
Trent Derecourt (WA) won gold in the men's under 19 25km points race using tactical nous to outmanoeuvre pre-race favourite Caleb Ewan (NSW).
Ewan established a strong lead early but a solo attack by Derecourt inside the final 30 laps of the 100 lap event saw him grab sprint points and a 20 point bonus for lapping the field. The eighteen-year-old then countered a number of late attacks to claim the gold medal with a tally of 31 points.
Ewan placed second with 23 points and his team mate Tirian McManus collected the bronze medal with 18 points.
"It hasn't sunk in yet, I mean this is my first Australian championships," said Derecourt after collecting his first ever gold medal at an Australian championships.
"I came here with the goal of putting in a good ride in the individual pursuit and at least medalling in the points race.
"I didn't really have a plan coming in here, but then I saw an opportunity to take a lap and it took a while, but I finally got there."
Taylah Jennings (QLD) controlled the under 19 women's 20km points race from start to finish placing in nearly every one of the eight sprints in the 80 lap event.
Jennings, along with West Australian Elissa Wundersitz, South Australia's Jessica Mundy and Victoria's Imogen Jelbart created much of the pace through the race, but it was Jennings who piled on the points at every opportunity. She had an unassailable lead heading into the final sprint but just to make sure she blasted clear of the field and ended the race with 31 points to take the gold medal ahead of South Australia's Jessica Mundy (19 points) and Tasmania's Georgia Baker (11 points).
"This is pretty exciting, I didn't expect this at all, I am over the moon," said Jennings after being presented with her third gold medal in two days. The seventeen-year-old also won the time trial gold in the afternoon session and yesterday won the scratch race and was second in the individual pursuit.
"The plan was to go out and get points early as I knew the West Australians, in particular Elissa, would attack.
"It is hard when everyone is watching me and everyone wants my wheel and it is hard to get people to work with me, plus it was a really fast race too, but I really enjoyed it," Jennings said.

Australian track championship - latest

South Australia's Annette Edmondson has staked her claim for Olympic selection after recording the fastest time ever ridden on Australian soil for the 3000 metre individual pursuit during today's qualifying session of the 2012 Subaru Cycling Australia Track National Championships.
Edmondson, 20, scorched around the Adelaide Super-Drome in 3:30.586 to shave 18 thousandths of a second of the time of 3:30.604 set by New Zealand's Sarah Ulmer in the individual pursuit final at the 2004 World Championships held in Melbourne.
"I was hoping to do a 33 or so and to go out and do a 30 is really exciting" said Edmondson, who slashed seven seconds off her own previous best time. "So to go out and do a time like that in qualifying is really important to me.
"I didn't even realise it (the record) was eight years' standing. That's awesome, it still hasn't really sunk in. (But) it's not over yet though, I've got to go out and do it again, show I can back up.
"Given this is the Olympic year and I want to make the world champs, which are very soon, the event I want to win is the individual pursuit," added Edmondson who in 2008 was the silver medallist in the sprint and in 2009 claimed bronze in the keirin at the Junior World Championships. She then switched to endurance events and today's performance proves that was a smart move.
The individual pursuit is no longer in the Olympic Games schedule but the women's team pursuit will debut in London and competition is fierce for places in that line up.
Edmondson will face 2012 Australian omnium champion Ashlee Ankudinoff in tonight's gold medal final after the Sydney rider clocked 3:32.614 for the twelve lap event.
Defending champion Josephine Tomic (WA) recorded 3:34.772 and will race team mate Melissa Hoskins (3:37.751) for the bronze medal ride.
In the men's team pursuit qualifying, the Super-Drome was awash with rainbow jerseys with Australia's four reigning team pursuit world champions in action. Jack Bobridge and Rohan Dennis lined up for South Australia, Michael Hepburn for Queensland and Luke Durbridge for the West Australian team.
Bobridge and Dennis were joined by Alexander Edmondson and Glenn O'Shea with the quartet posting the fastest time of 4:02.567. They will face Hepburn, Mitchell Mulhern, Nicholas Schultz and Jesse Kerrison (4:07.250) in the final.
The Queensland quartet suffered a mishap just after they crossed the finish line when Mulhern and Shultz touched wheels and crashed but both walked away relatively unscathed.
Durbridge with Michael Freiberg, Stephen Hall and Bradley Robson stopped the clock at 4:08.556 and will meet the New South Wales team of Benjamin Harvey, Scott and Jackson Law and Jackson-Leigh Rathbone (4:08.648) to decide the bronze medal.
In the under 19 women's 500m time trial final, Queensland's Taylah Jennings blitzed the field to collect her second gold medal of the championships
The dual 2011 junior world champion added to the scratch race gold she won on the opening night of competition, stopping the clock in 35.403, well ahead of Victoria's Caitlin Ward (36.228). West Australia's Tian Beckett (36.520) claimed the bronze medal.
"I have been aiming to win this since the first year I came to nationals in the under fifteens, so to finally break through it is a really great achievement," said Jennings, 17, referring to her three consecutive silver medals in the time trial across the under 19 and 17 categories.
"I have done more pursuit training, which is strange, but I think because I have wanted it so bad, and worked on my starting, it paid off.
"I felt fast today, my best time before this was a 36.1, so it's pretty good for me," added Jennings.
The session also saw the elite sprint competition begin with the flying 200 metre qualifying rounds for men and women.
South Australia's Matthew Glaetzer (10.100) posted the best time ahead of Andrew Taylor (NSW) (10.123), with Victoria's Shane Perkins third fastest in 10.158. Canberra's Alex Bird was fourth fastest with his time of 10.230.
Reigning sprint world champion Anna Meares delighted the home crowd by recording the fastest time in the women's round of 11.133. Kaarle McCulloch (NSW) was second fastest in 11.219, while Victoria's Ziggy Callan (11.689) and Cassandra Kell (NSW) (11.832) rounded out the top four.
The sprint rounds continue tonight with the finals being contested tomorrow night.
In the under 19 men's sprint, South Australia's Alex Radikiewicz and Jai Angsuthasawit and Victoria's Emerson Harwood and Jacob Schmid will contest the semi finals.

Filipino fling in Roadbikeaction

There's a great story of Filipino corporate racing and the 7-11 team in the new Roadbikeaction mag, check it out!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

UCI - fictitious list of continental team rankings, strange folks

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has today published a fictitious ranking for the UCI Continental Teams registered in 2012, established on the basis of points obtained by the best riders among their current members during the last season (2010-2011).
This fictitious ranking, which reflects the sporting value of the 2012 UCI Continental Teams, establishes which teams will receive automatic invitations to events on their respective Continental Circuits.
The organisers of all the non-European races (class 1 and 2) on the UCI Continental Circuits will be obliged, in accordance with art 2.1.007 bis of the UCI Regulations, to invite the three best teams from their continent (according to the classification mentioned).
As for organisers of class 2 UCI Europe Tour races, they will have to invite the three best European Continental Teams.
The fictitious classification published today should not be confused with the Continental Rankings that are calculated on the 25th of each month.

UCI Continental Teams receiving automatic invitations according to the conditions mentioned above:

UCI Europe Tour

UCI Africa Tour

UCI America Tour
3. EPM – UNE / COL

UCI Asia Tour

UCI Oceania Tour

Hepburn takes Aussie pursuit title

Queensland's Michael Hepburn won gold in a thrilling elite men's individual pursuit final against South Australian Rohan Dennis at the 2012 Subaru Cycling Australia Track National Championships at Adelaide's Super-Drome.
The pair, who were half of Australia's 2011 world champion pursuit team, staged a nail-biting duel that saw Dennis (Jayco-AIS) almost a second up on Hepburn at the three quarter mark of the 16 lap race. But the GreenEDGE rider held his nerve and stuck to his schedule wiping out the deficit and surging clear to win in a time of 4:17.481. That was almost three seconds faster than Dennis whose 4:20.004 earned him the silver medal.
"It's very important to me - the individual pursuit is an event that I've always had a strong passion (for) and I have big ambitions in this discipline," an ecstatic Hepburn said after donning the Australian champion's jersey. "This and the team pursuit are my two big goals and it's really nice to get the crown tonight."
"After this morning's ride I was fairly confident and even throughout the final I was fairly confident, " said Hepburn. "I've seen Rohan ride a fair bit and I know how he rides. He tends to go out quite quick, whereas I'm the opposite, I like to race the person over the last two kilometres.
"Full credit to Rohan, he's just had a great result in the Tour Down Under, he's only had a few days to recover, " added Hepburn.
In 2009, Hepburn set a world record in the under 19 3000m pursuit on the same track and later the same year won the junior world title. Graduating to the senior ranks in 2010, Hepburn claimed back to back team pursuit world titles but also has his sights set on individual glory.
"If you look at the current team pursuit squad, obviously Jack is the standout in the individual pursuit and Rohan has done some really good rides as well, " Hepburn explained. "(But) I'm starting to do some good rides and it's an event we all take very seriously - it's still a world championship event." Hepburn added.
Dennis, who finished second in 2011 to Bobridge, was making no excuses after the race.
"I felt it - in saying that, he's a top-class rider," said Dennis. "I wouldn't take the win away from him just because I did the Tour Down Under as he was always going to be a hard competitor.
"He's not easy to beat anyway, even when I am on form, all credit to him.
"I was probably putting too high expectations on myself, but sometimes that works," Dennis added.
Queensland's Mitchell Mulhern took the bronze medal (4:23.857) over South Australian Alexander Edmondson (4:31.229).
Earlier in the evening session on day one Sydney's Kaarle McCulloch, 24, claimed her third straight 500m time trial crown just hours after her silver medal ride in the team sprint. McCulloch showed no signs of fatigue, covering the first 250 metres in 19.447 and completing the two laps in 34.244.
"I am pretty happy with that as this event is still quite important to me, it's the event I won my first Australian title in as a junior, and I always really want to do well in it," said McCulloch of the time trial which is no longer in the Olympic Games program.
"I thought I could have done a little bit better, but I think that was wishful thinking. I think the heat got to me a little bit today, but my personal best is 34.208 and I did a .244 then, so I can't be too unhappy.
"I am looking forward to the sprint now, and as all my training is geared to the team sprint, I don't feel any pressure in the sprint.
"Hopefully I can go out and ride a good time, get through to the final and give Anna a good run for her money," McCulloch said.
Canberra's Catherine Culvenor (35.616) took the bronze medal, while South Australia's Rikki Belder (35.283), who teamed with Anna Meares to win gold in the team sprint, placed third.
In the under 19 individual pursuit, Victorian Alexander Morgan, 17, bolted out of the gates to lead by four tenths of a second after the first kilometre of his race against Tirian McManus (NSW). McManus managed to narrow the margin to seven hundredths of second at the halfway mark, but Morgan found something extra in the third kilometre and pushed his lead out again. A fast finishing McManus fought back but it was not enough and the Victorian won the gold medal in his time of 3:19.909. McManus claimed silver in 3:20.918.
"I am pretty tired, but pretty happy with how it all worked out in the end," said Morgan, who claimed the team pursuit world title at the UCI Junior Track World Championships last August with Jack Cummings, Alexander Edmondson and Jackson Law.
"I got so nervous before the start, and kept trying to tell myself that everyone else was in the same boat.
"So I am happy to come through with the win, particularly after coming second last year and after a hard few months of training." Morgan said.
In the ride for the bronze medal, West Australia's Trent Derecourt (3:23.485) defeated Queensland's Nicholas Schultz (3:26.786).
West Australian Kelsey Robson, 16, set an All Comers and Championship record on her way to winning gold in the women's under 19 2000m individual pursuit over dual 2011 junior world champion Taylah Jennings (QLD).
Only four tenths of a second separated the pair in qualifying but in the final it was all Robson who led at every time check to run away with the win, crossing the line in 2:24.788, three seconds faster than Jennings who recorded 2:27.830.
"It was really a game of tactics as she goes out really fast and I go out really slow, so I just had to back it up in the second half of the race, and it worked out really well," said Robson after claiming her first Australian title. "I am so excited, as a first year rider you don't expect to get a gold, you just do it for the experience. So this is just really great."
Tasmania's reigning team pursuit junior world champion Georgia Baker (2:29.409) defeated Queensland's Alexandra O'Dea (2:31.113) in the bronze medal ride.
Less than an hour later, Jennings bounced back to win gold In the women's under 19 scratch race. Much of the early pace set early by West Australian Elissa Wundersitz with Jennings timing her attack perfectly at the bell lap to sprint home ahead of Queensland team mate Alexandra O'Dea. South Australia's Jessica Mundy was third.
"It was disappointing qualifying first and coming second in the individual pursuit final to Kelsey, but she did a great job and I was happy with my time," said Jennings. "So I put it all in that scratch race there and it was a really good race and I really enjoyed it.
"I have pretty high expectations of myself and it would have been nice to have done better in the individual pursuit but I still have four races left, so I am not worried," she said.
In the final event of the night South Australia successfully defended their team sprint title when Nathan Corrigan, James Glasspool and Matthew Glaetzer defeated the New South Wales trio of Mitch Bullen, Andrew Taylor and Peter Lewis.
Corrigan out the home team narrowly in front after the first of three laps but Andrew Taylor blitzed the second lap to give New South Wales a lead of two hundredths of second with 250m to go.
A parochial crowd propelled Glaetzer over the final lap for a finishing time of 45.087 seconds, 0.020 faster than their rivals who clocked 45.315.
Victorians Shane Perkins, Jason Niblett and Jaron Gardiner (45.984) claimed the bronze medal ahead of WA's Scott Sunderland, Jonathan Bathe and Aaron Cooper (46.191).