Monthly Archives: November 2015

Team Wiggins dominate in Glasgow

Owain Doull

Cardiff rider Owain Doull finished third overall at the 2015 Tour of Britain in September

British duo Owain Doull and Jon Dibben excelled as Team Wiggins dominated the Revolution Series event in Glasgow.

Welshman Doull and England’s Dibben won four of five races in the Elite Championship to move to within 19 points of leaders Team Pedalsure.

Double Olympic champion Laura Trott won the women’s points, elimination and the scratch race ahead of Katie Archibald.

The event is the fourth of six in the series, with two one-day competitions to come in Manchester in January.

Team Wiggins was formed by 2012 Tour de France winner and four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Bradley Wiggins specifically to help him compete for qualification for the Rio Olympics.

Doull and Dibben were beaten in the first race of the evening as Australian Sam Welsford, riding for Orica-GreenEdge, took the 250m flying lap in 13.053 seconds.

However, the pair then won the remaining quartet of races – the points, scratch, Madison time trial and team elimination.

Doull admitted on the Revolution Series official website that his team had “a bit of an advantage given that we have access to the track quite a lot in Manchester”.

“With the Worlds [Track Championships] only a few months away we’re all in really good shape, which definitely helps,” he added.

Trott, 23, who won three titles at the European Track Championships in Switzerland in October, was again in fine form, completing a clean sweep of the women’s endurance events.

There was also success for a British rider in the women’s sprint competition as Victoria Williamson beat France’s Melissandre Pain in the final.

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UK Sport defends backing Coe’s bid

Lord Coe

Lord Coe beat Ukrainian pole vault great Sergey Bubka to become the new IAAF president earlier this year

UK Sport has spent £182,000 on five campaigns for senior positions in global sport in the last two years.

The agency, which funds Olympic and Paralympic sport, backed campaigns by Lord Coe, Brian Cookson, Sir Phillip Craven, John McEwen and Louise Martin.

Two thirds of that sum, £115,000, went to one company, Vero Communications.

“If we care about the future of international sport then we’ve got to get off the bench and into the game,” said UK Sport’s Simon Morton.

“That means supporting British administrators to secure international leadership positions to ensure that the UK, as one of the world’s leading sporting nations, has a strong voice in developing world sport.

“We are proud of our record, as we believe it is essential to ensure that our national governing bodies can engage effectively with the international community and contribute to the governance, development and leadership of world sport.”

But some within British Olympic and Paralympic sport have questioned the wisdom of spending money that could be targeted at young athletes on the business of sports politics.

“Seb Coe being president of world athletics does not win us any medals,” said Jessica Ennis-Hill’s coach Toni Minichiello.

“He has said that two thirds of his campaign budget came from private sources. Did he even need the public money? Could it have been a loan instead?

“That money could have been shared with 63 young athletes. They could have paid for their medical insurance for a year and bus fares to training.”

Pat McQuaid (left) was ousted as UCI president by Britain’s Brian Cookson after a contentious 2013 election campaign

Of those five campaigns, only McEwen’s run for the presidency of the International Equestrian Federation was unsuccessful. UK Sport gave Vero, which is run by sports lobbyist Mike Lee, £10,000 for that bid.

The UK-based “strategic communications company”, which helped secure the 2016 Summer Games for Rio and 2022 World Cup for Qatar, was also given £63,000 for work on Coe’s hard-fought campaign to become global athletics chief.

Coe and Lee also worked together on London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympics.

UK Sport contributed £77,000 to Cookson’s bitter 2013 battle for the presidency of the International Cycling Union, with Vero receiving £24,000.

British Cycling contributed another £43,000 from its “international influence” budget, with most of the money spent on travel, preparing Cookson’s manifesto and professional advice on how to restructure the federation.

It is unclear if Vero went through any official tendering process but UK Sport told BBC Sport it had “secured a preferential rate” with Lee’s firm.

UK Sport, which got a 29% annual increase in the amount of tax-payers’ money it receives in Tuesday’s comprehensive spending review, has made no secret of its international relations strategy. The contribution from the public purse accounts for a third of its current £135m annual budget, with the rest coming from the National Lottery.

Its three international goals – global influence, developing British administrators and maximising the legacy from major events – are listed on the agency’s website, and leading ex-athletes such as Kelly Sotherton have been through its “international leadership programme”, which is now in its eighth year.

Mike Lee was director of communications for London’s successful Olympic bid in 2005 and teamed up with Coe again for his IAAF campaign

All of this, however, is secondary to its main stated purpose of maximising Britain’s chances of winning medals on the world stage.

“It’s important that the governance of world governing bodies is exemplary, and we’ve all seen examples recently where that hasn’t been the case,” said UK Sport chairman Rod Carr.

“Now, we’re not arrogant enough to think that only Brits can put that right but we think there is a cadre of talented and honest people here that can really help those international federations that have failed that test.

“But the reality is that costs money. It would be naive to send somebody into that competition with no funds to go fly and talk to people and garner support from other parts of the world.

“It’s a great investment. If we have sports like athletics and cycling, which have both had their moments, better managed and governed, that is good for the sport worldwide and good for us.”

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James back in GB World Cup squad

Becky James

James won two titles at the 2013 World Championships

Two-time world champion Becky James is set to represent Great Britain for the first time in almost two years at next week’s Track World Cup in New Zealand.

The 23-year-old made her track comeback in August after 18 months out because of a knee injury and cancer scare.

James, who last rode for Britain at the 2014 World Championships, is joined by Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes in the squad in Cambridge.

The event, from 4-6 December, offers qualification points for Rio 2016.

James, from Wales, won the sprint and keirin titles at the 2013 World Championships in Belarus.

Technical director Shane Sutton said: “It’s great to see Becky James come back into the fold.”

Sir Bradley Wiggins and the first-choice women’s endurance squad, led by Laura Trott, have been rested, but Ed Clancy is available following a back problem.

Sutton added: “We’re in the fortunate position that our performance across men’s and women’s endurance has left us in a strong position in qualification, allowing us to blood some of our younger academy riders.”

Next week’s World Cup is the second of three in the 2015-16 season, following October’s meeting in Colombia and before January’s finale in Hong Kong.

GB team: Becky James, Jess Varnish, Katy Marchant, Jason Kenny, Philip Hindes, Callum Skinner, Lewis Oliva, Ed Clancy, Chris Latham, Germain Burton, Mark Stewart, Oliver Wood, Emily Nelson, Emily Kay, Manon Lloyd, Megan Barker, Abigail Dentus.

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Barnes joins top new women’s team

Hannah Barnes

Hannah Barnes on the podium at the 2015 Tour of California to collect the best young rider’s white jersey

Rising British star Hannah Barnes will ride for the newly-formed Canyon//SRAM team in next year’s inaugural UCI Women’s WorldTour circuit.

Barnes, who has spent two seasons with American team UHC-Healthcare, won the white jersey for the best young rider at this year’s Women’s Tour.

“It’s been really good in America but I’m happy to come back to Europe,” said the 22-year-old from Northamptonshire.

“My whole goal for 2015 was to get some good results and then come back here.”

Joining Barnes on the team are the overall winner of the Women’s Tour, German time trial star Lisa Brennauer, and RideLondon Grand Prix winner, Italy’s Barbara Guarischi.

The team will ride the full 17-race Women’s WorldTour calendar in 2016.

Germany’s Canyon will supply the bike frames, with American firm SRAM providing the components.

The team’s nine riders, from six countries, will wear kit from British company Rapha, which has recently announced it will no longer be supplying elite men’s outfit Team Sky after 2016.

Canyon//SRAM Racing owner and director sportif Ronny Lauke, a former world track champion for Germany, at the team launch in London

The team will begin its 2016 season when Tiffany Cromwell rides in the Australian national championships in January, with the first full race being the Ladies Tour of Qatar in February.

Helping riders qualify for the Rio Olympics will be a focus for the team, as will the big American races, the Tour of California and Philadelphia Cycling Classic, as well as Britain’s Women’s Tour and the women’s race at the Tour de France, La Course.

“My main goal for the year is to make the team for the Olympics but with this injury I don’t really know,” said Barnes, who broke her ankle in August.

“I’d like to go back to California and do the Tour there too.”

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Horton eyes Tour de France dream

Tobyn Horton

Horton won his first Tour Series event around Canary Wharf in June last year

Tobyn Horton says Mark Cavendish’s decision to help coach riders on his Madison Genesis team could help achieve his dream of riding the Tour de France.

Cavendish, the Tour’s green jersey winner in 2011, has agreed a deal to support the team next year.

“I’m 30 next year so the chances get slimmer, but I never stop striving to want to do it,” said Horton.

“Mark putting his name to the team will allow us to be in the shop window at bigger races.”

Mark Cavendish will act as mentor and coach to riders at Madison Genesis

Horton is one of Guernsey’s greatest-ever cyclists and helped Madison Genesis to their first-ever Tour Series title earlier this year.

“One of the things I like about Madison Genesis is they’re constantly pushing as a team to develop and push the boundaries,” Horton told BBC Radio Guernsey.

“They’re not happy at just being one of the best teams domestically in the UK, they want to do something different and to have someone like Mark Cavendish put his name to the team shows how well admired Madison Genesis are.”

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Johnny’s favourite stores