Monthly Archives: October 2016

Sir Bradley Wiggins edged out at Six Day London in ‘final’ British race

Sir Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins set a new hour record at the Lee Valley velodrome in June 2015

Sir Bradley Wiggins’ expected final race on British soil ended in a second-place finish with Mark Cavendish at the Six Day London.

The British pair were beaten by Moreno de Pauw and Kenny de Ketele of Belgium in the final race, the madison.

Wiggins, 36, plans to retire after the Six Day event in Ghent in November but hinted at a possible change of heart.

“Money talks,” he joked. “Who wouldn’t want to come back with a week like this? I don’t know. I love racing.”

After competing at the Lee Valley velodrome, which hosted the London 2012 track events and was built on the site of the Eastway facility that he used as a boy, the five-time Olympic champion said it was an appropriate place to end his career in Britain.

“It has such fantastic memories for me. I will always come back – I’ll probably be back next year, but in the stands,” he told Eurosport.

The event started last Tuesday and Wiggins and Cavendish led going into Sunday’s final day but were beaten in the last race of the exhibition event.

De Pauw and De Ketele gained a lap late in the madison – after a slipped hand-sling changeover cost the reigning British world champions in the closing stages in London – and took the final sprint to win by 11 points.

“It just shows what a class act they are – hats off to them,” said Wiggins.

Cavendish hopes that he can help give Wiggins’ a winning send-off in Ghent – the city of his birth.

“We’re in top condition and know we can go to Ghent ready to win,” he said.

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Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins consoled themselves with a Champagne spray on the podium

Wiggins was racing for the first time after a period he described as “topsy turvy”.

It emerged in September that Wiggins took a banned steroid before his 2012 Tour de France win.

Britain’s most decorated Olympian had a therapeutic use exemption to allow him to use the drug.

While no rules were broken, some of Wiggins former team-mates and a doctor who worked with him at Team Sky say questions remain over his use of triamcinolone to treat allergies and respiratory issues.

Wiggins told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that his treatment put him “back on a level playing field” and that he didn’t gain any “unfair advantage”.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Bradley Wiggins: ‘This was about putting myself back on a level playing field’

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/37818188

Sir Bradley Wiggins edged out at Six Day London in final British race

Sir Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins set a new hour record at the Lee Valley velodrome in June 2015

Sir Bradley Wiggins’ final race on British soil ended in disappointment as he and Mark Cavendish were edged out in the Six Day London madison.

The British pair were beaten by Moreno de Pauw and Kenny de Ketele of Belgium.

Wiggins plans to retire after the Six Day event in Ghent in November – but hinted at a possible change of heart.

“Money talks,” joked the 36-year-old. “Who wouldn’t want to come back with a week like this? I just don’t know at the moment. I love racing.”

It emerged in September that Wiggins took a banned steroid before his 2012 Tour de France win.

Britain’s most decorated Olympian had a therapeutic use exemption to allow him to use the drug.

While no rules were broken, some of Wiggins former team-mates and a doctor who worked with him at Team Sky say questions remain over his use of triamcinolone to treat allergies and respiratory issues.

Wiggins told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that his treatment put him “back on a level playing field” and that he didn’t gain any “unfair advantage”.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Bradley Wiggins: ‘This was about putting myself back on a level playing field’

After competing at the Lee Valley velodrome, which hosted the London 2012 track events and was built on the site of the Eastway facility that he used as a boy, the five-time Olympic champion said it was an appropriate place to end his career in Britain.

“It has such fantastic memories for me. I will always come back – I’ll probably be back next year, but in the stands,” he told Eurosport.

De Pauw and De Ketele had led the madison competition before Cavendish and Wiggins – two-time world champions in the event – leapfrogged them in the standings on Saturday evening, but the Belgians gained a lap late in Sunday’s finale and took the final sprint to win by 11 points.

“It just shows what a class act they are – hats off to them,” said Wiggins.

Cavendish hopes that he can help give Wiggins’ a winning send-off in Ghent – the city of his birth – after a slipped hand-sling changeover cost them in the closing stages in London

“We’re in top condition and know we can go to Ghent ready to win,” he said.

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Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins consoled themselves with a Champagne spray on the podium

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/37818188

Ex-British Cycling boss Sutton ‘innocent’ of sexism allegation

Shane Sutton

Sutton was made British Cycling technical director in 2014

Ex-British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton maintained his innocence after he was found to have used sexist language towards Jess Varnish.

The governing body expressed “sincere regret” after an investigation led to Varnish’s allegations being upheld.

Sutton, 59, resigned in April having been suspended pending the investigation, and could yet appeal or take legal action.

“I’m adamant that I am innocent,” the Australian told the Sunday Telegraph.

“I have definitely never overstepped the mark with Jess Varnish or any other athlete.”

Varnish, 25, claimed in an interview with the Daily Mail in April that Sutton told her to “go and have a baby”, adding that she had “a list as long as my arm about comments I’ve had about my figure and it’s not right”.

The former European team sprint champion said she was “relieved” at Friday’s decision.

Sutton, who joined British Cycling in 2002, plans to review the evidence before deciding on his course of action.

“I’m massively disappointed,” he said.

“I put my trust in [the investigation]. I have gone back to them now and asked for the supporting evidence to try to understand how they have arrived at this conclusion.”

The governing body’s report will inform the ongoing independent UK Sport review into the culture of British Cycling’s world-class performance programme, which is due to announce its findings in the next few weeks.

Who is Shane Sutton?

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Sutton and Sir Chris Hoy embrace during the 2012 Olympics in London

Sutton, who won Commonwealth gold as a rider, joined British Cycling as a coach in 2002.

He was part of the team that won seven track gold medals at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, before being promoted following Brailsford’s departure in 2014.

In 2009, British cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy, who went on to win six Olympic gold medals, described Sutton as his mentor and said he had been “hugely influential in my success”.

He said Sutton, who also mentored Britain’s most decorated Olympian Sir Bradley Wiggins, is “so intense that there are times that the only thing you can do is fall out with him”.

Hoy added: “Half the time you want to throttle the guy and the other half you are trying to get into his good books.”

Key dates in Sutton’s career:

  • 1978: Wins track team pursuit gold at Commonwealth Games
  • 1984: Moves to Great Britain
  • 1990: Wins Milk Race (now Tour of Britain)
  • 2002: Joins British Cycling as coach
  • 2008: Wins coach of the year award
  • 2010: Awarded OBE in Queen’s birthday honours list
  • 2012: Diagnosed with bleeding on the brain after a bike crash in Manchester
  • 2014: Appointed technical director of British Cycling after Brailsford leaves

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/37813819

Sutton used sexist language towards Varnish, says British Cycling

Jess Varnish and Shane Sutton

Varnish and Sutton worked together on the Great Britain track cycling team

Ex-British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton used sexist language towards Jess Varnish, an investigation by the governing body has found.

Rider Varnish, 25, said Sutton told her to “go and have a baby”, which he denied.

Former European team sprint champion Varnish said she was “relieved” at the decision.

Australian Sutton, 59, resigned in April, having been suspended pending the investigation.

Varnish said: “I spoke out because I wanted to shine a light on the culture at British Cycling, a culture that in my mind was incorrect.

“I’ve always believed in standing up for yourself, especially when you know things are wrong.

“It wasn’t easy for me to talk about this experience and I could’ve quite easily said and done nothing, but that isn’t me.

“I’ve always given 100% to my sport, and am still in love with cycling, so I hope that British Cycling can use this investigation as a way to improve and create a better environment for the Great Britain team.”

The British Cycling board upheld the allegation that Sutton “used inappropriate and discriminatory language”.

A statement read: “The board wishes to put on record its sincere regret that this happened.”

  • British Cycling to face MPs over TUEs
  • Varnish ‘wouldn’t recommend’ British Cycling

Its report will inform the ongoing independent UK Sport review into the culture of British Cycling’s world-class performance programme, which is due to announce its findings in the next few weeks.

Varnish, who has won medals at the Commonwealth Games and European and World Championships, failed to qualify for the Olympic team sprint in March and was subsequently dropped from the world class programme.

She claimed in an interview with the Daily Mail in April that she had “a list as long as my arm about comments I’ve had about my figure and it’s not right”.

Sutton said Varnish’s contract was not renewed because her times had slowed over the past three years and she was “not up to the job”.

Friday’s decision almost certainly ends any hope that Sutton had of returning to a formal role with British Cycling.

He was made British Cycling technical director in 2014 when predecessor Sir Dave Brailsford stepped down after a decade in charge.

Analysis

BBC sports editor Dan Roan

Having announced the departure of their chief executive last week, this decision raises yet more awkward questions for one of the country’s best funded and most successful sports governing bodies:

  • How will the British cycling team fare without the coach credited with helping it win so many medals?
  • What will the UK Sport independent inquiry into the culture at British Cycling conclude?
  • Did Sutton receive a pay-off when he resigned in April?
  • In the midst of a UK Anti-Doping investigation into British Cycling and Team Sky, what will Sutton’s next move be now that his hopes of clearing his name have been dashed?

Who is Shane Sutton?

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Sutton and Sir Chris Hoy embrace during the 2012 Olympics in London

Sutton, who won Commonwealth gold as a rider, joined British Cycling as a coach in 2002.

He was part of the team that won seven track gold medals at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, before being promoted following Brailsford’s departure in 2014.

In 2009, British cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy, who went on to win six Olympic gold medals, described Sutton as his mentor and said he had been “hugely influential in my success”.

He said Sutton, who also mentored Britain’s most decorated Olympian Sir Bradley Wiggins, is “so intense that there are times that the only thing you can do is fall out with him”.

Hoy added: “Half the time you want to throttle the guy and the other half you are trying to get into his good books.”

Key dates in Sutton’s career:

  • 1978: Wins track team pursuit gold at Commonwealth Games
  • 1984: Moves to Great Britain
  • 1990: Wins Milk Race (now Tour of Britain)
  • 2002: Joins British Cycling as coach
  • 2008: Wins coach of the year award
  • 2010: Awarded OBE in Queen’s birthday honours list
  • 2012: Diagnosed with bleeding on the brain after a bike crash in Manchester
  • 2014: Appointed technical director of British Cycling after Brailsford leaves

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/37804761

Sharon Laws: Cancer was never on my radar, other girls may be in same position

Sharon Laws

Sharon Laws (centre) turned professional at the age of 33

A former British champion cyclist used to embracing the rigours of professional sport, Sharon Laws never imagined someone like her could be diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Laws had always planned to retire from the sport at the end of the 2016 season but in August she was told she has a cancer that is “treatable but not curable”.

The 42-year-old, who rode for Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics, recently began a six-month course of chemotherapy, hoping the setbacks she faced in her career have prepared her for what she calls her “biggest challenge so far”.

But Laws, who won British titles in time trial, road racing and the mountain biking marathon, also wants to use her diagnosis to help raise awareness of cervical cancer among women.

She hopes to encourage young women, in particular, to have regular smear tests, something the Kenya-born cyclist says may well have picked up her tumour at a stage early enough to stop the cancerous cells spreading.

“I haven’t had regular smear tests because I have barely been in the UK for any length of time due to training or racing,” said Laws. “I was a professional athlete, ate really healthily and did not consider myself in a high risk category due to my lifestyle.

“There are probably a lot of girls in the same situation who get the letter, think the same as I did, and don’t go.

“Although the type of cervical cancer I have is often missed on a pap smear, there is a chance it might have been picked up earlier and I would, perhaps, not be in the situation. I just want people to be aware this can happen to anyone.”

Laws was advised to have a biopsy on swollen lymph glands in her neck by her team doctor at Podium Ambition in late July – something she initially attributed to “a series of colds” earlier in the year.

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Laws represented Great Britain at the Road World Championships in 2009

“It was very lucky I went to see the doctor at all,” she said. “I thought I would take that opportunity to see him for a regular check-up while I was in the UK for a couple of weeks.

“It was something that was never on my radar. When I first went for the biopsy, they thought it might be a tropical infection.

“That fits more with what I do – I love wild camping, spending winters in South Africa – so I never even imagined I had cancer.”

After discovering there were secondary cancer tumours, tests revealed further infected lymph nodes in the pelvis and abdomen, and cervical cancer was diagnosed.

She added: “I’m really healthy. I’ve never smoked. I’m not a heavy drinker. It’s not anything that I thought could happen to me.”

Laws, who worked as an environmental consultant, did not turn professional until the age of 33 but made it to Beijing in 2008, a moment she classes of one of her highlights.

“I didn’t really know much about biking at all and didn’t really realise what a big deal it was at the time,” she explained. “I couldn’t believe I was working full time in April 2008 and at the Olympics four months later.

“Being able to be a professional athlete and focus solely on training and racing, instead of juggling it with work, was a great opportunity.”

She has not yet had a chance to reflect upon her career.

“At the moment I’m keeping myself as busy as possible and I’ve been really lucky, I’ve been overwhelmed with messages and visitors,” added Laws.

“I was planning to finish anyway, but this wasn’t how I imagined retirement being. I feel a bit cheated by that, it’s taken over any real joy of retiring and reflecting.”

But Laws has been back on her bike since her treatment began – albeit slowly, she admits – and insists on maintaining a positive outlook.

“It’s important to have future goals,” said Laws, who is also learning Spanish. “If you don’t, you kind of give up and get into a spiral of circling negativity. That’s not a good situation to be in.

“I’ll be a bit clearer on what the situation is in six months’ time and what the future looks like – whether it’s one year or five years or 15 years.

“Take each day as it comes and make the most of it – I guess that’s what you learn from it. All these things that you think are important but realise aren’t that important after all.

“It’s trying to make the most of the time you have when suddenly you might not have as long as you thought.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/37746412

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