Great Britain finalizes 2014 World Track Cycling Squad

GB has reportedly finalized its squad for the upcoming World Track Cycling 2014. The esteemed championship is to be held at Cali, Colombia, by the end of February- there would be 7 Olympic champions from Great Britain amidst 17 riders.

The Great Britain squad for the Worlds would have its golden couple Laurat Trott & Jason Kenny, along with the elites like Steven Burke, Phillip Hendes, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell & Ed Clancy.

Becky James would be there to defend her 2 titles & she would also spearhead a female sprint group featuring Vicky Williamson & Jess Varnish. The brilliant rider shot to fame a year back with her winning stances at the sprint & Keirin at Minsk world championship in 2013.

Dual Olympic champion Laura Trott would be looking forward to defend her title in team pursuit that she achieved in Belarus. However, the race format has received an alteration now and would be set over 4 kilometers with 4 riders. Katie Archibald has been selected as well and she would be making her debut in the Worlds this time. The red-haired Scottish rider would join up with Rowsell, Dani King, Elinor Barker and Laura Trott in women endurance section.

Trott’s boyfriend Jason Kenny, who is a 3-time Olympic hero as well would be leading the men squad. However, Simon Yates , last year’s worlds point-race winner, won’t be defending the title this time but rather has declared to focus on road career.

GB squad for the Worlds at a glance:
Men’s sprint: Jason Kenny, Matt Crampton, Phil Hindes and Kian Emadi.

Men’s endurance: Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Owain Doull, Jon Dibben and Sam Harrison.

Women’s sprint: Vicky Williamson, Jess Varnish and Becky James

Women’s endurance: Elinor Barker, Katie Archibald, Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King

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Mayor Pledges Active Participation

Boris Johnson is hell bent on actively pursuing “Cycling Revolution” in London with the assurance of making the city welcoming to bikers akin to Copenhagen and Amsterdam. The city Mayor has pledged to make as many as 33 of London’s endangering routes safer for the riders.

Mr. Johnson was at City Hall recently where he showed updated figures regarding a high profile police traffic project that was launched following 6 cyclist deaths within less than couple of weeks. As per the sources, the new police traffic project has stopped over 2,000 motorists & cyclists in the last 15 days for infractions like jumping red signals.

Speaking at the conference regarding depletion of abnormal figure of biker deaths related to lorry clashes, the London Mayor stressed on a new program by London Transport which is geared to make thirty-three of the capital’s most dangerous routes safer for the bikers.

“There’s now a rising scream asserting that the biking revolution is getting too fast & that we must somehow get every cyclist off road & people are taking me in some accusing way. The analysis has hugely exaggerated my messianic capacities. I’m a very passionate cyclist myself but I’m not some Pied Pedaller”, noted the London Mayor. “People take to bikes since they love biking.”

Johnson has admitted the imperfection of the current London road & traffic system, further acknowledging the need for a safer system. He has promised to revamp the current system with the help of segregated lines.

“We would be expanding & improving superhighways, where possible & where it deems sensible. We would segregate these routes just the way we’ve done in case of Stratford. The London cycling revolution is meant to continue & accelerate. It isn’t the right time to give up or slacken off – if we can get it all right, the reward is going to be huge. Our city should be the ideal one for the riders.”

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USA Cycling Lets Go Of USA Cup

After a long debate, USA Cup has finally got the decision of not making their events a part of the USA Cycling. USA Cup always is in charge of most national and regional level cycling races. Earlier, USA Cup had conducted the Pro UET and the Pro XCT under the USA Cycling Association. These fall under the endurance calendar and cross country (national level) categories, respectively.

Steve Johnson, the President and CEO of USA Cycling, recently told the press that they are surely disappointed to lose out on certain events but at the same time, they will concentrate on their own events, Pro UET and the Pro XCT, more aggressively now.

They all have other stakeholders to consider now, quoted Johnson. USA Cycling officials had a meeting with their mountain bike committee as well. They announced that their calendar would feature some new changes. They will not only represent the venues for the upcoming races but it will also be portrayed in such a way that will inspire upcoming and new riders. All this drama started with the petition to change the highly debated UCI Rule number 1.2.019. After a long struggle and questioning, it will finally be presented in an edited and revised form from 1st January 2014. This rule will not allow any professional cyclist to take part in any competitive, registered races, which are not under the UCI or USAC.

The main reason why USA Cup pulled out of USA Cycling is because they have been in collaboration with USAC for two sessions now and there had been a lot of problems with the costs and payments. When the USA Cycling officials

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Petacchi Retires From Professional Cycling

The sprinter legend belonging to the cycling team- Team Lampre-Merida, Alessandro Petacchi has taken the decision of ending his eighteen year cycling career. His decision was announced by his team Lampre-Merida via a statement given Petacchi himself. The statement said that Alessandro was extremely satisfied with his professional cycling career and he believes that he has achieved all the essential victories that any rider like him would ever want to accomplish.

Alessandro also thinks that since he has reached the threshold of about two hundred victories in his cycling career, it is high time he retires and gives his life a new dimension. Along with this, Alessandro also wants to spend more time with his family.

But there is a possibility of him returning to the cycling world back again as a manager or coach. He said in his statement that though he is saying goodbye to his cycling fans for now but he might just come back to share with the new young cycling generation his experience and learning. That means he is pausing his cycling career but he is not going to break off all his ties with the cycling world. Unibet think he might be back sooner than fans think.

Here is a list of the few victories that are a part of Alessandro’s cycling career: Multiple stage victories in Vuelta a Espana, Giro d’Italia and Tour de France. He has also been the winner of one-day races like Paris-Tours (2007) and Classics Milan-San Remo (2005).

However his career was also not devoid of any controversy. In the year 2007, he was suspended by Milram cycling team and was banned for twelve months from cycling because of doping. But then he turned out to be innocent and returned to cycling competitions in the year 2008. He became a part of Team Lampre-Merida in the year 2009 and ever since he has been one of the best sprinters belonging to this team.

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No positive drug test results in Tour de France

The Tour de France 2013 had not a single positive drug test results. This report was released by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation director Francesca Rossi at a media Open Day in Aigle in Switzerland earlier on Tuesday. Chris Froome of Britain won the Tour de France this year and that came under extra scrutiny as it was the very 1st edition being staged after United States’ cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted that he had cheated his way to win 7 Tour de France crowns starting from 1999 to 2005.

Froome, who rides for the Team Sky, had to face reporters every day on Tour de France. He expressed his frustration as he was repeatedly questioned regarding doping in the game. Dave Brailsford, the team principal told during the 3 week long Tour that their team was ready to hand over all their team training data to the World Anti-Doping Agency if that would serve.

On Tuesday, International Cycling Union issued a statement which said that CADF took 622 urine and blood samples during the 100th Tour de France. In the year 2012, they gathered 566 samples. CADF worked closely with the French Anti Doping Agency and together they took 202 pre Tour samples as well as 419 samples during the race.

Reinforcing the plan of targeted testing, 198 samples were taken during the race were for biological passport. In 2012, the number was 149.

International Cycling Union’s website stated that Rossi told that this target testing plan has been hugely facilitated by excellent on-site cooperation between CADF and AFLD during the Tour de France this year. WADA analyzed the samples.

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David Millar supports team mate

David Millar, the great Scottish professional cyclist recently said that the British Cycling should pay more attention to the future of road racing cyclists. He said that the government should take proper measures to make sure that Britain produces more champion cyclists and the golden era continues. He has witnessed the world of cycling being dominated by racers from Britain and world getting mesmerized by the likes of Sky, Cavendish and Wiggins. The 36 year old champion further added that the government should open more gateways for the young cyclists, provide better resources and encourage cycling right from the school level.

There was a time when the professional cycling arena had only a bunch of racers from this part of the world but today things have changed drastically. Millar himself has a shinning career record with five stages victory at Tour de France. He has all the jerseys from this grand French competition and is the only British racer to have won all the jerseys. The Scot also became the first British rider to win the jersey of the leader in all the 3 Grand tours. He has also won Giro d’italia once and Vuelta a Espana two times as well.

David Millar is supporting Ryder Hesjedal who is his friend and team mate at Garmin Sharp at Giro d’italia. Briton Wiggins who is another team mate of Millar although was regarded as the hot favorite for the tournament. Millar also was entrapped in the doping scandal along with Lance Amstrong who was his fellow team mate. He gave evidences against Amstrong and hence got rid from the two year ban which was imposed on him. Millar took EPO drug back in 2003 as per the doping results by United States Anti-doping Agency. But as he provided evidence in the biggest doping scandal in sports in recent years, this suspension was cut short

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Make Cycling A Part Of National Curriculum

There are 700,000 members in British Cycling and the officials are urging all the members to appeal to the government to make cycling a national curriculum.

They said that they want to make cycling a part of people’s lives and they also added that children should all learn and adapt to the skill of cycling. According to reports, currently, after British cycling and CTC started the 2009 Bikeability project in schools but till today even half the children don’t have access to cycles and many schools do not provide Bikeability to the kids.

The Bikeability project was to bring out children on the streets with the skill of cycling for leisure, skill management and also for further training on a professional level. The Bikeability project also holds cycle proficiency tests for students who like to take this skill forward. British Cycling has said that they want the Bikeability project to be taken seriously for an overall mental and physical development of people from a young age.

The cycling associations in Britain including British Cycling have said that this situation should change. They are also taking up an initiative to inspire people to cycle for leisure, for going for one place to another and cycle for staying fit, enjoying oneself and also for promoting the sport more within the public.

They are starting a consultation with other agencies and government officials and the public as well and the consultancy stops on April 16, 2013. British Cycling is urging everyone to take part in this consultancy. Director for Policy and Legal Affairs from British Cycling, Martin Gibbs stressed that cycling is a life skill which is a good habit, healthy form of exercise and like swimming, this skill stays with a person for life.

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Elinor Barker Emerges as the Latest Cycling Track Star

Teen British cyclist Elinor Barker has shot to national setting at just eighteen years of age yet she seemed to be confident on being a strong aide to King & Trott at the World Championships. Elinor is one among the 7 English riders who would be making their debut in World Cycling Track Championship which is about to start at Minsk this week.

There won’t be any Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Gertaint Thomas, Pete Kennaugh or Joanna Rowsell- all of whom stood on the podium-top in London Velodrome, past summer. Instead, the Minsk World Championship would witness a bunch of fresh talents from GB like Dani King, Ed Clancy, Jason Kenny, Laura Trott and Elinor Barker to represent Britain effectively in medal table in the Minsk Championship.

“I have really got a great team of athletes this time, who are albeit not yet up to the mark of Wiggins, Pete or Geraint, but would soon reach up to that level & surpass that”, remarked Chris Newton, the famous Olympic medalist.

Barker’s coach, the former Olympic medalist, Manning, seemed to be in a high praise mode for the rising teen cyclist. He described her as a high achiever and revealed that she is always enthusiastic to train & learn more.

She is often found in the training ground even post training sessions. According to his statement, Barker is always the last one to finish training and constantly pestering the coaches for evaluating her riding status and improvements and providing further information. Rowsell’s decision on road focus for the coming 2 years has opened up opportunities for Barker which she has taken up with all alacrity.

Barker’s teammates, both King & Trott, are also immensely positive about the new GB talent. “She has got a fantastic future ahead & is a highly strong rider”, stressed King while speaking about Barker.

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No Giro For Contador this Year

Alberto Contador, the elite Spanish sprinter has reportedly declined to participate in Giro d’Italia which is scheduled for May, 2013. The former Tour de France champion announced for a complete focus on Tour de France instead.

A credible source from Spanish media confirmed the news about Contador’s decision on not taking part in the high profile Italian racing event. “There won’t be Giro this time for me”, Alberto Contador was quoted by the sources during Argentina’s Tour de San Luis last month. As per the cyclist’s press manager, the champion sprinter from Spain is presently considering the France tour as his prime target and Giro is just another option to him.

While approached to speak about his decision on not participating at Giro d’Italia this summer, the Saxo Bank rider stated –“I have participated at Giro d’Italia earlier in 2011 & I do have wonderful memories of Giro racing. However, this time, I am primarily focused on Tour de France and planning to devote my entire 100 percent there. Giro will always be very special to me, yet this year I am banking specifically on Tour de France”. Alberto Contador was the winner of Giro d’Italia in the year 2008.

The Tour de France 2013 is scheduled to commence from June end this year. The famous Spanish cyclist has been a Tour de France winner thrice till date. His initial Tour de France win was in the year 2007 with Discovery team. Two years later, he again secured the champion trophy in the majestic French racing circuit in 2009. Contador was also crowned as Tour de France hero in 2010 but his doping charges snatched away the winner’s title for the year. The Tour de France 2013 would be Contador’s first Tour de France after his two years ban on doping charges from the racing ground.

Post Tour de France 2013, Contador is eyeing for Tour of Spain.

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Michele Bartoli named as the coaching consultant

The former cyclist Michele Bartoli has been named as the coaching consultant of Team Lampre-ISD. The team official Giuseppe Saronni stated earlier that he was pretty much upset with the team’s effort in 2012 and wanted to reform the team for a better 2013. It seems to be the first move made by the team.

Saronni explained the reason behind recruiting a former cyclist as the consultant by saying that the players wanted a man with the firsthand experience of riding in the international arena. He regarded Bartoli as the perfect man to be chosen under the current scenario as he holds both the technical knowledge and experience.

Bartoli himself is super excited to join Lampre ISD and said that it is like a dream come for him. The 42-year-old said in a press meet that he loves to be a part of the team and would do whatever necessary for benefit of the team. The main focus of him will be on the riders as he believes that knowing the riders individually makes the work a lot easier.

As the present Sports Director of Team Lampre, Roberto Damiani, will leave after the expiry of his contract, Bartoli will take on the charge. But he will not fully replace Roberto because he has been given the charge of some individual players like Alessandro Petacchi, Roberto Ferrari, Fillipo Pozzato, Diego Ulissi, Damiano Cunego etc.

The former Italian rider has an influential career under his belt after made the debut in 1992. He first rode with Team Marcatone Uno-Medeghini-Zucchini. In 1995 he left the team and joined Team MG-Technogym and stayed there for 1996 and 1997. He joined Team CSC in the year 2003 and retired from there in 2004. He registered some fantastic victories at the Tour of Flanders and the Tour of Lombardy.

Now it is the beginning of a new inning for Bartoli and let’s see what’s going to happen!

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