Monthly Archives: April 2012

Isle of Wight – a mini tour

not sure it counts as a tour really, but a week Saturday sees the yearly trip to the Isle of Wight.

A great little ride, leaving home and cycling to Lymington for the ferry on day 1, with a good meal out and stay at a lovely B&B in Yarmouth that evening.

Up nice and early for breakfast on Sunday morning, and then the main event, the fantastic Isle of Wight Randonee – think this is the third or fourth one I’ve ridden. No doubt it’ll be windy, rainy and grey, but it is great fun – even the south coast hills!

I’ve had the odd misfortune on the Randonee, one year coming off the night before the ride and ending up in A&E in Newport (Isle of Wight) with smashed in face (still handsome ;)) – still completed the ride the next day despite the concussion.

Then two years ago discovering – after a shower on arrival at the B&B, that I had forgotten to put any trousers in my panniers! Our fantastic hosts at the Windrush B&B furnished me with a pair and I was at least able to go out for some food :)

The mileage is good for three pleasant rides, being approximately 70 miles  day, so time to start praying to the sun gods to return us to the “drought” conditions, else I am going to consider the trip by kayak or ark!

Chris Hoy learned on girl’s bike

Sir Chris HoySir Chris Hoy is a four-time Olympic champion

Cyclist Sir Chris Hoy’s first bicycle was a girl’s bike, the Olympic gold medallist’s mother has revealed.

Sir Chris, 36, a four-time Olympic champion who won three golds at the 2008 Beijing Games, got the second-hand bike from his neighbour.

His mother, Carol Hoy, said he broke the bike “very quickly” so had to get a new one.

She said she thinks it is “mad” he earns his living by riding a bike but said she is very proud of him.

Mrs Hoy said: “His first ever bike was a girl’s bike, handed over by a neighbour.

“I don’t think he realised it was a girl’s bike at the time. He managed to break that very quickly which perhaps meant he’d like a new one.”

His Olympic titles are “very, very proud moments” but Carol Hoy added: “Then I was proud of him when he won the egg-and-spoon race when he was a wee boy as well. So I’m just a boring mum who loves her kids.”

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I thought he was going to cry with happiness”

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Carol Hoy
Sir Chris Hoy’s mother

Chris Hoy is considered one of Britain’s biggest medal hopes for London 2012.

Mrs Hoy’s view of her son’s success forms part of eight short documentary-style films, commissioned by Olympic sponsor Procter and Gamble.

Each tells the story of raising a world-class athlete.

Mrs Hoy recalled: “I think it does seem mad to earn your living from riding a bike, but it’s what makes him happy.”

Edinburgh-born Sir Chris got his first BMX bike when he was about eight or nine.

Mrs Hoy said: “I thought he was going to cry with happiness when we took him to the shop, he was so excited, thrilled.”

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London 2012 – One extraordinary year

London 2012 One extraordinary year graphic

He has a BSc Honours in applied sports science from Edinburgh University.

She added: “When he said he wanted to continue with cycling and he was at university and I said ‘Fine, but university is the priority. Once you’ve done that, it’s up to you.’

“Secretly I was thinking ‘Hmm, you’ve got a really good degree and he wants to ride a bike…’.

“Did I say that to Chris? No. I think in my heart I thought he’ll get fed up with that in a couple of months.

“I’m really glad I didn’t say it to him.”

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GB success will continue

British cyclists will continue to deliver Olympic success even if Dave Brailsford gives up day-to-day control of the team, says GB rider Ed Clancy.

Brailsford combines his role as GB performance director with his position running Team Sky and could focus solely on the latter after London 2012.

“It will be hard to replace him if he goes,” said Clancy.

“[But] he’s doing great things with Team Sky and if he wants to go there will be no hard feelings from us.”

Dave Brailsford

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Clancy believes Brailsford, who joined British Cycling as a consultant in the late 1990s and now has responsibility for the entire team, would leave a lasting legacy.

“He’s already done us a massive favour over the years, and I’m sure the infrastructure he’ll leave behind, if he goes, will be pretty stable and things will carry on,” said Clancy.

“I know the team is funded until 2016, so onwards and upwards.”

Five-time world champion Clancy won his Olympic gold as part of a world record-breaking team-pursuit quartet, and it was one of a remarkable haul of 14 medals claimed by GB in Beijing, including seven golds from 10 events in the velodrome.

This built on impressive returns from the Athens and Sydney Olympics, which helped Great Britain emerge as a cycling superpower.

Brailsford’s part in this made him the obvious choice to manage Sky’s high-profile foray into the competitive world of road cycling.

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We know we’ve got our work cut out to beat them [Australia] but it’s great to be trading punches with them again

Ed Clancy

Now in their third full season, the team can boast the best of British talent in Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins, as well as foreign stars such as Edvald Boasson Hagen and Richie Porte.

Speaking shortly before this month’s

World Track Championships in Melbourne,

Brailsford hinted for the first time that he can no longer continue to do both jobs to the same high standard.

“The growth of cycling is enormous and there’s only so much I can do in a day,” the 48-year-old said.

“There’s no doubt that with all the responsibilities I have it’s difficult to maintain the same level of detail across the entire programme.

“I think we’re all in agreement that it would make sense for my role, or my job description, to shift slightly, but we’ll review that after the Games.”

This prompted British Cycling’s chief executive Ian Drake to stress that nothing would change until after London 2012, and the link between British Olympic cycling and Team Sky would remain, with Brailsford central to that relationship.

For his part, Clancy is relaxed about any changes that may be made to the management structure, particularly after GB’s fine display in Melbourne, where the team won half of the events that will be staged in the Olympic Velodrome in August.

GB’s victory in the men’s team pursuit was especially significant as it came after a few years that had seen fierce rivals Australia gain the upper hand.

“It was probably the first time that our A team and theirs has come together since Beijing and we beat them,” said the 27-year-old, who is also likely to ride the omnium in London, a multi-discipline event he won at the

2010 World Championships.

“We know we’ve got our work cut out to beat them but it’s great to be trading punches with them again.”

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Wiggins rival Martin hurt in fall

Time trial world champion Tony Martin has fractured a cheekbone after being hit by a car during a training ride.

A spokesman for his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team said the 26-year-old German “probably needs surgery”.

Martin beat Britain’s Bradley Wiggins into second place at the time trial worlds last September

and was favourite for Olympic gold in London.

Defending Olympic champion

Fabian Cancellara broke his collarbone earlier this month at the Tour of Flanders.

“Martin was diagnosed with a fracture on his cheekbone that probably needs surgery,” read an Omega Pharma-Quick Step team statement.

“His clinical condition is stable. In agreement with the team medical staff, Tony Martin will undergo further specific examinations that will define the treatment he will need at that point.”

Martin earned 12 victories last year, including Paris-Nice and the Tour of Beijing.

While Wiggins is expected to compete in the time trial in London, his priority may well be the Tour de France in July, in which he has a realistic chance of winning the overall prize.

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Brailsford ponders sprint options

British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford has refused to reveal his selection strategy for the men’s sprint at the 2012 Olympics.

Brailsford is among those who must choose between Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny, the silver medal winner from 2008, for the place.

“Selecting that team is very difficult,” said Brailsford.

“It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past. Our job is to pick the fastest guy.”

Kenny beat Hoy in the semi-final at the Track World Championships in Melbourne, but the Scot,

who won gold in a dramatic keirin on Sunday

with Kenny in third, has won three of the five sprint meetings between the pair since September.

Regulations permit only one entry per nation per event at the London Games.

The decision does not need to be made until 1200 BST on 3 August, the day before the competition begins, but Hoy would prefer to know sooner if he is to be denied the opportunity to defend one of his Olympic titles.

Brailsford explained: “The dilemma is that if you select now the riders know what they are doing and can train a little bit more specifically.

“The downside is that in 16 weeks anyone’s form might not be the same.

“That is the conundrum – late for form, but early for clarity of purpose.”

Laura Trott

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Team GB hits heights at Track Worlds

Britain won five golds in the Olympic events in Melbourne – half of those on offer – and Brailsford believes his team are on course for a successful performance in August.

“We’ve got more to come,” he added, describing the haul of seven out of 10 Olympic titles on offer in Beijing in 2008 as a “quirk”.

“There’s no reason why we can’t step up again, but then again everybody else is going to improve.

“Form’s going to decide what happens at the Olympics now.”

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Johnny’s favourite stores