Monthly Archives: November 2014

GB’s Harris wins cyclo-cross bronze

Britain’s Nikki Harris finished an impressive third in the first cyclo-cross World Cup event to be staged in England.

Harris, 27, who won the British title in 2013, finished 32 seconds behind Belgian winner Sanne Cant and runner-up Katherine Compton from USA.

The British cyclist completed the muddy course in 45 minutes 58 secs.

“It was amazing, with a fantastic course and so much support,” Harris told BBC Sport.

International cyclo-cross, where competitors alternate between riding and carrying their bike as they make their way around a combination of cross-country and ‘road’ sections, was last held in the UK in 1992, when Leeds hosted the World Championships.

Over 6,000 tickets were sold

before the Milton Keynes event, 

with the number of spectators visiting Campbell Park believed to be closer to 10,000 on the day.

“I’ve never experienced a crowd like it before, it was more like a World Championships and lets hope we can see more events like this in the future,” said Harris.

Eight-time British champion Helen Wyman fell several times during the race but battled to a hard-earned eighth – 1:09 behind the winner.

“I genuinely cannot describe the noise, it was more like what it

must have been like during the Olympics,”

she told BBC Sport.

“Everyone’s been so positive and hopefully we can see these races in the UK become a more regular thing.”

Compton looked to have secured the win in the closing stages, but Cant just edged out her rival in a sprint finish, with both cyclists given the same finishing time.

In the men’s event Cant’s team-mate Kevin Pauwels took the victory ahead of countryman Klaas Vantornout and Frenchman Francis Mourey, with GB’s Ian Field 12th.

“This sport can be really tough because we’re unfunded in the UK,” Field told BBC Sport.

“Without my personal sponsors I wouldn’t be here, but we’ve put on such a great show and it would be interesting to see what we could achieve with more support in the future.”

The next cyclo-cross World Cup event takes place in Namur, Belgium, 21 December.

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VIDEO: Cyclist King recalls horror crash

British Olympic gold medallist Dani King discusses the training crash where she suffered eight broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

King, who won gold in the team pursuit at London 2012, had the accident on 7 November while on a regular training route in south Wales.

The Southampton-born 24-year-old was in intensive care for two days and in hospital for 10.

“It was the worst hour of my life,” King told BBC South Today of events straight after the crash. “It was scary.”

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Fifth doping case at Nibali’s Astana

Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali’s Astana set-up were plunged deeper into crisis when it was revealed a fifth rider had failed a drugs test.

Artur Fedosseyev, 20, tested positive for anabolic steroids to join Maxim and Valentin Iglinskiy, Ilya Davidenok and Viktor Okishev on the list of shame.

The timing could not be worse, with cycling’s governing body

currently reviewing Astana’s WorldTour licence.

All five riders are from Kazakhstan, where the team has its base.

Fedosseyev rides for Astana’s Continental-level development team with Davidenok and Okishev, and he failed a drugs test at the Tour de l’Ain in France on 16 August.

Davidenok and Okishev also tested positive for steroids this summer, while the Iglinskiy brothers failed a test for the blood-boosting drug EPO.

Maxim Iglinskiy, the winner of the gruelling Liege-Bastogne-Liege race in 2012, was part of Nibali’s nine-man team at the Tour de France and failed his test a few days after reaching Paris.

World cycling’s governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI), asked its licence commission to look at Astana’s application to race in 2015 after the first three positive tests emerged.

Since then, Okishev and now Fedosseyev have added to the team’s shame. A decision from the UCI is expected next month.

After Okishev’s positive was announced, Nibali told the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport that these “idiots” had nothing to do with him.

“The problem is certainly not mine,” the 30-year-old Italian said.

“I think about myself and I have a clear conscience. I can’t give answers for their problems.”

Nibali became only the sixth rider to claim all three Grand Tour titles (Italy, France and Spain) when he won the Tour de France in July.

Astana’s general manager is Alexander Vinokourov, the 2012 Olympic road race champion who served a two-year ban for doping at the 2007 Tour de France.

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Cycling teams form new lobby group

Eleven of cycling’s leading teams have formed a lobby group called Velon, designed to develop and grow the sport.

Velon wants to build a race calendar to engage fans throughout the season and bring in new technology to cycling.

British outfit

Team Sky 

is run by team principal Sir Dave Brailsford and is part of the group.

“The teams involved have come together with a powerful shared vision to optimise the sport and develop new ways for it to grow,” said Brailsford.

“If the teams unite and work collectively to make cycling better to watch and easier to understand, it’s to everyone’s benefit.

“It will encourage more fans to follow the sport.”

The other teams involved are Belkin Pro Cycling, BMC Racing Team, Garmin-Sharp, Lampre-Merida, Lotto-Belisol, Omega Pharma-Quick-Step, Orica-GreenEDGE, Team Giant-Shimano, Tinkoff-Saxo and Trek Factory Racing.

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Cavendish second in Gent event

Mark Cavendish and fellow Omega Pharma-Quick-Step rider Iljo Keisse had to settle for second place at the Gent Six Day event, which finished on Sunday.

The 29-year-old and his Belgian team-mate were narrowly beaten to the title by Baloise Insurance duo Kenny De Ketele and Jasper De Buyst.

The event came down to the madison, which De Ketele and De Buyst won to give them overall victory by 46 points.

“I’m disappointed, but we were beaten by a great team,” said Cavendish.

“In the end I’m happy with how we did. I had the best partner and such a good friend of mine in Iljo. For me, it’s an honour to ride with him.”

The Manxman and Keisse came into Sunday’s madison trailing De Ketele and De Buyst by 52 points but attacked quickly to gain a lap.

However, the Baloise pair hit back quickly to retake the lead and then had the strength to respond late on to fend off a final attack from the challengers.

The winners finished on a total of 440 points, with Cavendish and Keisse amassing 394.

It was Cavendish’s first appearance sine 2007 in the Belgium-based event, which takes place over six evenings and features a variety of events, including the madison, points and elimination races.

“It took me three or four days to get into a good rhythm after not racing track for seven years,” added Cavendish, who dislocated his shoulder when crashing on the road on

stage one of the Tour de France in July.

“We couldn’t pick up the points early on, and in the end it put us on the back foot and chasing all week.”

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Johnny’s favourite stores