Laura Kenny named Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year

Laura Kenny

Laura Kenny won two Olympic golds in the summer under her maiden name Trott

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Laura Kenny has been named the 2016 Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year.

The Great Britain hockey side who won gold at Rio 2016 have been named Team of the Year.

Cyclist Kenny won team pursuit and omnium gold during the summer.

The 24-year-old beat fellow cyclist Sarah Storey, who has won 14 Paralympic gold medals and Jade Jones, who successfully defended her Olympic taekwondo title, to the prize.

Nicola Adams (boxing), Charlotte Dujardin (equestrianism) Johanna Konta (tennis) were the other nominees.

The other awards handed out were:

Olympian of the Year: Helen Glover Heather Stanning (rowing)

Paralympian of the Year: Kadeena Cox (athletics track cycling)

Young Sportswoman of the Year: Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (swimming)

Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration: Hannah Francis (a teenage eventing rider, who died in August after losing her battle with a rare bone cancer)

Lifetime Achievement Award: Professor Celia Brackenridge (researcher and activist)

Community Award: Kirsty Cameron (founder of Ladies Leisurely Cycles Facebook group)

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Shane Sutton: Ex-British Cycling director lost Jess Varnish case over use of word ‘bitches’

Jess Varnish and Shane Sutton

Varnish and Sutton worked together on the Great Britain track cycling team

British Cycling found its former technical director Shane Sutton guilty of using sexist language towards cyclist Jess Varnish – despite clearing him of eight of nine charges against him, BBC Sport can reveal.

Sutton was found to have used the word “bitches” to Varnish, but claims he used other offensive and discriminatory language were not upheld.

That included Varnish’s key complaint that Australian Sutton told her to “go and have a baby”.

Sutton was also cleared of any bullying allegations, including claims he made comments about the cyclist’s body weight.

Despite the findings revealed in a letter obtained by BBC Sport, Sutton, 59, was ruled to have used “inappropriate and discriminatory language” following the British Cycling investigation.

Its board said it “put on record its sincere regret that this happened”.

Last month, Sutton said he would appeal, adding: “I will produce the evidence. Everything comes out in the dirty washing.”

He added: “I can categorically state I never made those comments I was originally alleged to have made.”

Reacting to the letter, Varnish, 25, told BBC Sport on Wednesday: “I am shocked and upset by this latest news and have instructed my solicitor to appeal against the findings of the internal investigation on my behalf.

“Having provided substantial evidence to back up my complaints, to now learn that the majority were not upheld is heartbreaking. I know what was said, and I know I’ve told the truth.

“I have requested from British Cycling the full investigation report to understand why the weight of evidence provided by me and others wasn’t sufficient for the board to uphold my complaints.”

Varnish’s lawyer, Simon Fenton, said: “Jess Varnish is demanding to see the report produced by British Cycling which they are releasing in dribs and drabs.

“They have managed to satisfy neither Jess nor Shane Sutton and to embarrass themselves in the process.

“Everyone needs to see the full report to understand how they came to their conclusions and to challenge them if appropriate.”

Sutton declined to comment when contacted by the BBC. British Cycling has also declined to comment.

Last month’s decision to uphold Varnish’s complaint looked to have effectively ended any chance Sutton had of returning to his former post. But British Cycling may now face legal action from both sides.


The letter showing British Cycling’s findings, obtained by BBC sports editor Dan Roan

Varnish was dropped from the Great Britain squad in April after finishing fifth in the team sprint at the World Championships. She then said she had been the victim of sexist remarks.

Sutton, who was part of the team that won seven track gold medals at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, resigned in April, having been suspended pending the investigation.

Former European team sprint champion Varnish had previously said she was “relieved” by the ruling.

The report will inform the ongoing independent UK Sport review into the culture of British Cycling’s world-class performance programme.

Among other issues, that review is considering claims Sutton used derogatory words like “wobblies” and “gimps” to describe Para-cyclists. Sutton has rejected that claim.

Senior members of British Cycling are preparing to face the Commons Select Committee on 19 December to answer questions about therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) and concerns about transparency.

British Cycling is also the subject of a UK Anti-Doping investigation into allegations of wrongdoing.

What does the letter say?

It says the British Cycling board considered the investigation and report to decide on nine specific allegations:

Discriminatory conduct

  • Use of term ‘bitches’. Upheld
  • Use of term ‘Sheilas’ (an Australian term for women). Not upheld
  • Swearing, use of ‘c word’. Not upheld
  • ‘Get on with having a baby’ comment. Not upheld
  • Women branded as being difficult. Not upheld
  • Equipment not equally distributed among male and female riders. Not upheld
  • Discrimination/careers after the Olympic Podium Programme. Not upheld


  • Body weight. Not upheld
  • Decision not to renew Jess Varnish’s Olympic Podium Programme membership. Not upheld

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Owain Doull: Olympic champion can be success at Team Sky

Owain Doull

Owain Doull joined Team Wiggins in January 2015

Olympic gold-medallist Owain Doull has the qualities to succeed with Team Sky, says team-mate and fellow Welshman Luke Rowe.

The pair are both in British Cycling’s 2016-17 podium programme squad.

Doull, 23, part of Great Britain’s men’s team pursuit which won gold at Rio 2016, has switched to road races and has joined Team Sky.

“I think he’s going to be pretty successful and I really hope he is,” Rowe said.

Fellow Welshman and Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas has also been named in the men’s road squad.


Luke Rowe was part of Great Britain’s men’s team at the UCI Road World Championships 2016 in Doha

Team Sky confirmed the signing of Doull in August after he claimed gold in Rio as part of the team pursuit with Sir Bradley Wiggins, Steven Burke and Ed Clancy.

Doull, as a member of Team Wiggins, finished third in the 2015 Tour of Britain

He spent the latter part of the 2016 season with Team Sky before turning professional full-time on the road in the New Year.

Rowe, 26, has been impressed with Doull during his short time with Team Sky.

“I raced with him once and he was very impressive,” Rowe told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

“He got given one big job for the day and it was to take the team to a certain point in the race and he executed it to perfection.

“The very first race with the team, a bit of pressure at the top levels and straight away he was doing exactly what the team asked of him.

“He’s definitely going to step up to the plate.”

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Harrogate set to host 2019 World Championships finish

Mark Cavendish

British rider Mark Cavendish crashed out of the Tour de France when stage one finished in Harrogate in 2014

Harrogate is set to host the finish for all the races when the 2019 Road World Championships are staged in Yorkshire.

The spa town has been proposed by race organisers and governing body the UCI is expected to ratify the decision when officials visit in January 2017.

Harrogate hosted the finish to stage one when Yorkshire staged the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France.

Welcome to Yorkshire, with partners UK Sport and British Cycling, won the bid to host the week-long championships.

It will be the first time Britain has hosted the annual championships in 37 years.

On Friday, Welcome to Yorkshire revealed the route for the annual three-day Tour of Yorkshire race, which will feature a stage-two finish in Harrogate.

Chief executive Gary Verity said: “Riders and teams are thinking of coming to Yorkshire, getting used to Yorkshire, because they know some of these roads will be used in 2019.

“We also know that at some point the Tour de France will come back, so riders want to stay close to this county because they know there’s going to be a lot of cycling here.”

It has been estimated that up to two million spectators lined the route for the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire, won by Frenchman Thomas Voeckler.

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Sir Bradley Wiggins: Five-time Olympic gold medallist to compete in 2017

Bradley Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France in 2012

Sir Bradley Wiggins is named in British Cycling’s 2016-17 podium programme squad, having been expected to retire.

The five-time Olympic gold medallist, 36, had suggested last month’s Ghent Six Day event could be his last, but afterwards said he was “not sure yet” what his plans are.

British Cycling said they were giving Wiggins the “flexibility” to “consider the direction of his future”.

He has been named as part of the men’s track endurance team.

Wiggins teamed up with Mark Cavendish to win the Ghent Six Day event in Belgium. The pair also won madison gold together at the World Track Championships in London in March.

Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France champion, also won team pursuit gold at this year’s Olympics in Rio – where British cyclists enjoyed great success winning 12 medals, six of them golds.

“In a year which has seen some fantastic performances from the Great Britain Cycling Team, the bar for programme membership remains high and we have a very strong podium programme squad to lead us into the next Olympic cycle,” British Cycling’s programmes director Andy Harrison said.

London 2012 Olympic team pursuit champion Dani King has returned to the Great Britain cycling team along with fellow road rider Nikki Brammeier.

Six riders – Alice Barnes (road), Emily Kay (track endurance), Danni Khan (track endurance), Ryan Owens (track sprint), Mark Stewart (track endurance) and Oliver Wood (track endurance) – have stepped up from the senior academy programme.

British Cycling’s Olympic podium programme is designed to support elite cyclists as they aim to win medals in major competitions, such as world championships and Olympic Games.

Olympic podium programme squad:

BMX: Kyle Evans, Liam Phillips, Tre Whyte

Mountain bike: Grant Ferguson

Men’s road: Mark Cavendish, Steve Cummings, Jon Dibben, Owain Doull, Alex Dowsett, Andrew Fenn, Chris Froome, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Simon Yates, Adam Yates, Peter Kennaugh, Geraint Thomas

Women’s road: Lizzie Deignan, Alice Barnes, Hannah Barnes, Nikki Brammeier, Dani King

Men’s track endurance: Steve Burke, Ed Clancy, Kian Emadi, Chris Latham, Mark Stewart, Andy Tennant, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Oliver Wood

Women’s track endurance: Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Emily Kay, Danni Khan, Joanna Rowsell Shand, Laura Kenny

Men’s track sprint: Phil Hindes, Jason Kenny, Ryan Owens, Callum Skinner

Women’s track sprint: Becky James, Katy Marchant, Victoria Williamson, Shanaze Reade

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