Monthly Archives: February 2016

Wales hosts longest 2016 Tour stages

Cyclists in Wales

The peloton rides across the Bridge of Pearls in Llanrwst during stage two of the 2014 Tour of Britain

North, mid and south Wales will get a taste of the Tour of Britain cycling event in September.

Wales will host the two longest legs, stages four and five, on 7-8 September.

Denbigh is the starting point for stage four, which heads through Flintshire and Powys, concluding the Royal Welsh Showground near Builth Wells.

Stage five will re-start from Aberdare and take in Rhondda Cynon Taf. The Welsh leg concludes by crossing south Wales and finishing in Bath.


Sir Bradley Wiggins rides up Caerphilly mountain alongside team-mate David Lopez during the Tour of Britain’s stage five from Machynlleth to Caerphilly in 2013

Ken Skates, the Welsh Government deputy minister for culture, sport and tourism, said: “We’re looking forward to hosting the Tour of Britain again this year and thrilled that some new venues and locations will get a taste of the action.

“The Tour of Britain is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase Wales’ unique and beautiful landscape to the world, as well as highlighting our ability to host a variety of major events.

“The spectators in Wales have always given the cyclists a real warm Welsh welcome and have created a fantastic atmosphere, I hope that people from across Wales come out to support the event again this year.

“Being a part of an event such as this can really inspire people to want to take up the sport.”

Wales has hosted stages of the Tour of Britain annually since 2010.

In 2016, stage four, Denbigh to Builth Wells is 217km and stage five from Aberdare to Bath is 205km, the two longest legs of the Tour.

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Armitstead starts season with a win

Lizzie Armistead wins her first race in the rainbow jersey

Lizzie Armistead wins her first race in the rainbow jersey

Britain’s road race world champion Lizzie Armitstead started her season with a win in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in Belgium.

Racing in the world champion rainbow jersey for the first time, Armistead launched a solo attack with 10km to go.

Her Boels Dolmans team-mate Chantal Blaak won the sprint for second and Tiffany Cromwell was third.

She said: “That wasn’t exactly the plan. I was out there way too long. Wow. I’m really happy.”

In the men’s race, Britain’s Luke Rowe, riding for Team Sky, finished fourth in a sprint finish, which was won by BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet.

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Cavendish given Worlds top-three target

Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish

Sir Bradley Wiggins (left) and Mark Cavendish will compete in the madison at the World Championships

Mark Cavendish must finish in the omnium top three at the Track Cycling World Championships to have a chance of competing at the Olympics, says British Cycling technical chief Shane Sutton.

The 30-year-old has not won Olympic gold, having fallen short at the 2008 and 2012 Games.

He hopes to compete in the multi-event omnium in Rio.

“If he can’t make the top three, he would pursue his dreams of the Tour de France yellow jersey,” said Sutton.

“I believe he can do it, we wouldn’t have selected him otherwise. That’s not us being brutal, that’s Cav being Cav, probably the greatest road sprinter of all time. He needs to know he can go to Rio and get the medal.”

Cavendish has had a successful road season to date, having won the Tour of Qatar.

He is aiming to compete at the Tour de France, although men’s endurance coach Heiko Salzwedel believes the Isle of Man rider will have to prioritise.

“If you ask me realistically, riding for two or three weeks on the Tour de France, he might be fit for the [Olympic] road race but not for the Olympic omnium,” he said.

“Cav has to digest and make a decision about this

Cavendish will also compete in the madison – a non-Olympic event – with Sir Bradley Wiggins at the World Championships, being held in London early next month. They combined to win the title eight years ago.

  • Track World Championships: Schedule, GB squad and TV coverage times
  • Get Inspired:How to get into track cycling

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Tour of Britain targets Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins

Sir Bradley Wiggins has won seven Olympic medals

Tour of Britain organisers hope 2013 winner Sir Bradley Wiggins will compete in the race for a possible final time as an Olympic champion.

Wiggins, 35, wants to ride on the track at the Olympics in Brazil in August ahead of a potential British finale.

Tour of Britain director Mick Bennett said: “The Wiggins team have verbally committed to me, and hopefully that can be a lap of honour for them with gold medals around their necks.”

The tour runs from 4-11 September.

Wiggins, who won the Tour de France in 2012 and is a four-time Olympic gold medalist, is riding at the Track World Championships in London in March.

“Bradley is such an icon, such a rock star, and it would be great for him to tour the country before closing down an amazing career,” added Bennett.

“I don’t know if this will be the toughest edition of the race yet but I think it should be the most exciting, and it’s certainly the most spectator-friendly.

“Spectators will be able to see far more of the race than ever before.”

The eight-stage Tour – which will coincide with the Vuelta a Espana in Spain – will begin in Glasgow before taking the riders through the Lake District, Cheshire, Denbighshire and south Wales.

It will feature a return to the popular summit finish at Haytor on Dartmoor, a split-stage in Bristol, which includes a time-trial and a five-lap road race, ahead of the circuit finish in London.

Last year’s race was won by Edvald Boasson Hagen, racing for the MTN-Qhubeka team, which is now known as Team Dimension Data and includes British sprinter Mark Cavendish.


Bradley Wiggins won the Tour of Britain in 2013

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Archibald ruled out of world track event

Britain's Katie Archibald

Kate Archibald won the team pursuit at the 2014 World Track Championships

Katie Archibald will miss next week’s Track World Championships in London because of a serious knee injury.

The 21-year-old reigning European champion was named in the British squad despite tearing a posterior cruciate ligament in December.

However, the GB medical team has advised the Scot to regain full fitness before August’s Olympic Games in Rio.

“Rehab has been going really well but we were running out of time,” said technical director Shane Sutton.

“I’m disappointed for Katie and disappointed for the team but the [team pursuit] squad has a lot of depth so we’re still confident we can show the crowds something special in London next week.

“Katie is a world-class rider and a key member of the Great Britain cycling team. We’ll miss her in London but she’ll be back stronger than ever and ready for Rio.”

GB squad

Women’s sprint: Becky James, Katy Marchant, Jess Varnish.

Men’s sprint: Matt Crampton, Phil Hindes, Jason Kenny, Callum Skinner.

Women’s endurance: Elinor Barker, Ciara Horne, Emily Nelson, Joanna Rowsell Shand, Laura Trott.

Men’s endurance: Steven Burke, Mark Cavendish, Ed Clancy, Jon Dibben, Owain Doull, Chris Latham, Andy Tennant, Sir Bradley Wiggins.


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