Monthly Archives: September 2014

Crash victim was former GB cyclist

David HitchinMr Hitchen’s wife said he had enjoyed the “camaraderie and solitude” of cycling

A man who died in a collision with a motorbike on a Lancashire road has been named as former British international cyclist David Hitchen.

The 42-year-old, from St Helens, died after his bicycle collided with a Yamaha on Rivington Road, near Belmont, on 21 September.

His wife Nicola said he rode for Great Britain in the 1990s, winning several national and international races.

She said he had been “a true talent and was a joy on the bike”.

Mrs Hitchen said her husband had had a “thirst for life” and discovered “both the camaraderie and solitude that time in the saddle brings” at an early age.

His career was cut short by illness, but Mrs Hitchen said he “never lost his love of cycling and continued to support, advise and mentor anybody willing to get on a bike”.

She said he had been “a truly loyal friend, a genuinely funny guy and a wonderful father”.

Lancashire Police have appealed to another motorcyclist who may have filmed the collision on a helmet-mounted camera to get in touch.

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Fenn & Roche join Team Sky for 2015

Britain’s Andrew Fenn and Ireland’s Nicolas Roche are among five new riders to join Team Sky for the 2015 season.

Scot Fenn, 24, won the junior Paris-Roubaix in 2008 and turned professional in 2012, while Roche, 30, son of 1987 Tour de France winner Stephen, signs having ridden 13 Grand Tours.

“These signings will be excellent additions to the squad,” team principal Sir Dave Brailsford said.

Leopold Konig, Lars Petter Nordhaug and Wout Poels complete the additions.

Czech Konig has had a strong year, finishing seventh in the Tour de France general classification and securing stage wins at the Vuelta a Espana, Tour of California and Tour of Britain.

Norwegian Nordhaug returns to the team where he made his professional debut in 2010, while Dutchman Poels joins with experience in all three Grand Tours.

Fenn had back-to-back victories at the Trofeo Palma and Trofeo Migjorn in Mallorca in his debut season in 2012.

“Andrew’s a talented young rider who has come through the British Cycling system, so we know him and his abilities well,” Brailsford said.

Roche finished an impressive fifth at last year’s Vuelta a Espana and his presence will provide strong support for Team Sky’s tilt at the 2015 Tour de France general classification.

“Nicolas brings a wealth of experience and that will be invaluable to the team,” Brailsford said. “He has the perfect character and temperament for us and we expect him to play a key role next season.”

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Varnish and Skinner win fourth golds

Jess Varnish and Callum Skinner both ended the National Track Championships on a high, winning their fourth gold medals of the competition.

Varnish, 23, triumphed in the keirin to successfully retain all four titles she won 12 months ago.

Skinner, 22, won the team sprint along with Olympic champions Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny.

Paralympic champion Dame Sarah Storey won the points race while Oliver Wood took the men’s scratch race.

Varnish beat Danni Khan, who she had won team sprint gold with on Saturday, while bronze went to Katy Marchant.

Skinner, who also won the sprint, kilo and keirin titles, teamed up with Hindes and Kenny as the trio finished in 44.132 seconds, defeating Matt and Thomas Rotherham, and Jack Payne (47.223).

Storey, who took silver with Pearl Izumi in the team pursuit, dominated her race, finishing on 58 points with Elinor Barker on 35 and Laura Trott on 30 after the Olympic champion won the final sprint.

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Kwiatkowski wins road world title

Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski won the road race at the World Championships by one second after breaking clear four miles from the finish in Spain.

Australia’s Simon Gerrans was second, with Spain’s Alejandro Valverde third for a third consecutive year.

Kwiatkowski attacked on the penultimate climb on the last of 14 laps that made up the 254.8km (159-mile) race and held off the chasing pack in Ponferrada.

Great Britain’s team leader Ben Swift finished 12th.

“I gave it my best shot but that last steep climb really hurt,” Swift told BBC Sport. “I got myself into a good position but it was just a hard day.”

It was a terrific ride by the 26-year-old Yorkshireman, to cap a well-executed race by the British team.

Swift was well supported by the likes of 2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome, Commonwealth Games road race champion Geraint Thomas and national road race winner Peter Kennaugh from the Isle of Man.

Thomas, as he

explained in his column for the BBC Sport website,

helped Swift for the first half of the race, keeping him out of trouble, before quitting as planned.

Kennaugh monitored attacks and went with a move with a little more than three laps to go to ensure his fellow British riders would not have to work to chase the break down.

Luke Rowe took up the domestique duties, looking after Swift, as the race began to open up in the final 50km.

Michal Kwiatkowski

Kwiatkowski made his decisive move on the penultimate climb of the race to Confederacion

Swift was in the leading bunch of riders on the 5km climb to Confederacion on the final lap but he was unable to go with Kwiatkowski when he made his move.

“Kwiatkowski is such a class act. He had his team on the front and he definitely deserved the win,” added Swift.

The Polish squad worked hard in the middle part of the race to help bring back a group of four riders that raced clear on the opening lap, allowing Kwiatkowski to conserve energy.

Once that break was caught, with around 70km remaining, several riders attacked off the front of the peloton, with Kennaugh and Germany’s Tony Martin, who lost his world time trial title to

Britain’s Sir Bradley Wiggins

on Wednesday, among those to go clear.

However, no break was decisive until Kwiatkowski made his move towards the top of the penultimate climb on the final lap. He eked out a few extra seconds on the final 1km ascent to Mirador before holding off the chasing pack on the 4km descent into Ponferrada.

“I am really thankful for my mates for what they did at the beginning,” said Kwiatkowski, who becomes the first Polish world road champion.

“I said right from the start that we have to lead the peloton because that was our best chance.”


1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) 6hrs 29mins 07secs

2. Simon Gerrans (Aus) +1sec

3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Same time

4. Matti Breschel (Den)

5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel)

6. Tony Gallopin (Fra)

7. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) +4secs

8. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) +7secs

9. John Degenkolb (Ger) Same time

10. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra)

11. Fabian Cancellara (Swi)

12. Ben Swift (GB)

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Phillips makes British BMX history

Liam Phillips has become the first British man to win the UCI BMX Supercross series world title.

The 25-year-old world champion

led the series going into the fifth and final round, in California, but crashed in the quarter-finals.

But his closest rival Anthony Dean went out in the semi-finals to guarantee Phillips the title as he finished with 710 points, 100 clear of Dean.

“Super happy to win the 2014 UCI BMX SX overall title,”

tweeted Phillips. 

Fellow British racers Kyle Evans and Tre Whyte were drawn in the same quarter-final as Phillips and, while the former was also knocked out at that stage following a crash, the latter made it as far as the semi-finals.

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Johnny’s favourite stores