Monthly Archives: January 2017

National Track Championships: Katie Archibald wins third gold medal

Katie Archibald

Archibald took gold in the points race, ahead of Emily Nelson and Neah Evans

Katie Archibald won her third gold medal on the final day of the National Track Championships in Manchester.

The Olympic team pursuit champion added the points title to previous victories in scratch and individual pursuit, as well as her silver in the keirin.

Daniel Bigham also completed a hat-trick with gold in the team pursuit.

“I couldn’t ask for more. I could only hold out for the three days; tomorrow I’ll be in bed all day,” Scotland’s Archibald, 22, told BBC Sport.

Archibald fractured her wrist in November at the Glasgow World Cup and returned to competition only recently.

“I don’t think the wrist injury has set me back too much, so I’m back on track now,” she said.

Despite her progress, she said she would not travel to Los Angeles for the forthcoming UCI World Cup.

She added: “I don’t think I’m going out [to LA]. I want to get back in the gym and recuperate the training block that I’ve missed without too much travelling and hopefully on to the World Championships in April.”

Bigham, 25, who earlier in the meet won the individual pursuit and kilometre time trial, took the team pursuit title with Jacob Tipper, Charlie Tanfield and Jonathan Wale.

Other final-day winners at the National Cycling Centre included Dani Khan in the women’s 500m time trial and Jack Carlin, Ryan Owens and Jack Truman in the men’s team sprint.

Sophie Capewell and Lauren Bate-Lowe took gold in the women’s team sprint and Ethan Hayter won the men’s scratch race.

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National Track Championships: Katie Archibald wins gold and silver on day two

Katie Archibald

Katie Archibald (centre) won the women’s scratch race ahead of Scotland’s Neah Evans (left) and Wales’ Elinor Barker at the UK National Track Championships

Olympic champion Katie Archibald added another gold and a silver on day two of the UK National Track Championships.

She beat fellow Scot Neah Evans in the scratch race before losing out to Sophie Capewell in the keirin.

Rio reserve Ryan Owens claimed the men’s sprint title with Joe Truman taking silver and Lewis Oliva bronze.

Paralympic champions Sophie Thornhill and pilot Corrine Hall also won their second gold as well as silver, in the pursuit and flying 200 respectively.

“I’m a bit shattered but my dad owns a bed shop so I’m obliged to have a good night’s sleep,” said Archibald, who will return for a third day of racing at the National Cycling Centre on Sunday.

The 22-year-old also beat her GB pursuit team-mate, Wales’ Elinor Barker, who finished third behind Evans in the scratch event.

In the C1-5 category, Megan Giglia won individual pursuit while 15 year-old Lauren Booth won her second gold of the championships in the flying 200.

Paralympic triathlon silver medallist Alison Patrick completed a track debut bronze medal hat-trick in the tandem alongside experienced pilot Helen Scott.

Patrick, who will continue to race triathlon, now hopes to compete for Great Britain at the Para-cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles in March.

However, Britain’s most decorated female Paralypian, Sarah Storey, will not compete in LA, deciding against competing internationally in 2017.

In Manchester, her Boot Out Breast Cancer team took bronze in the team pursuit – which was won by British Cycling Academy riders under Team Breeze.

Elsewhere, Dan Bigham added the men’s kilometre time trial gold to his individual pursuit title, Joe Nally won the points race and Aileen McGlynn and pilot Louise Haston came out on top in the tandem flying 200.

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Elinor Barker: Welsh cyclist says sexism in cycling not ‘blatantly obvious’

Elinor Barker

Elinor Barker won gold for Team GB in the team pursuit at Rio 2016

Olympic gold medallist Elinor Barker says there is “still a lot of sexism” within the sport of cycling, but it is not “blatantly obvious”.

The 22-year-old’s comments come after ex-cyclist Nicole Cooke said British Cycling was run “by men for men”.

Cooke, 33, made the claim to a Culture, Media and Sport select committee in Westminster on Tuesday.

However, Barker told BBC Radio Wales Sport that there has never been a better time to be a female cyclist.

“There’s still a lot of sexism in cycling today. It’s not always blatantly obvious like a pay gap or races not being put on,” Barker, who won gold for Team GB in the team pursuit in Rio, said.

“Times have changed a little bit since Nicole’s time.

“I can understand her frustrations but, as much as there is sexism in sport today, there’s not been a better time to be a female cyclist. I certainly can’t complain about the amount of support.

“There are so many more British female riders that can be full-time and don’t need to get jobs and hopefully that’s going to be on the rise.”

While giving evidence to the committee, Cooke answered “yes I do” when asked by MPs whether she thought sexism was culturally embedded in British Cycling.

The 2008 road race champion also said they did “nothing for the women” and that the body showed only “transient” support for female road riders.

Regarding Cooke’s accusations, British Cycling said in a statement: “There is always more that can be done and we strive to make continual improvements to ensure that cycling is reaching out to women and girls of all ages and abilities.”

‘It’s the subtle things that can be quite damaging’


Cooke cited numerous examples of “discrimination and favouritism” shown by British Cycling as part of her written evidence to MPs

Barker says issues beneath the surface of Cooke’s accusations do need to be addressed.

“I think sometimes it’s the subtle things that can be quite damaging – the choice of music while the women are racing can often be quite trivial and it downgrades the racing a little bit,” Barker continued.

“When the men have got awesome rock theme tunes to their racing, it makes it more exciting and it draws the crowd in, whereas when the woman’s is on, there’s this sort of fluffy music and it doesn’t make the crowd that excited.

“There are different levels to it. Equality needs to be across it all rather than just focusing on the pay gap. It needs to be all these little things to raise the profile of women’s cycling.”

An independent review into British Cycling was set up after former technical director Shane Sutton was accused of using offensive and discriminatory language towards cyclist Jess Varnish.

Sutton was cleared of eight of the nine charges against him, but was found guilty of using sexist language. He denies any wrongdoing.

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Para-cyclist Cundy angered by seven weeks’ notice for Worlds

Jody Cundy

Jody Cundy won two gold medals at the Rio Paralympics

Giving athletes seven weeks to prepare for the Para-Cycling Track World Championships is “a joke”, says seven-time Paralympic champion Jody Cundy.

Governing body the UCI announced on Monday that the event will take place in Los Angeles from 2-5 March.

There was no major track championships scheduled for 2017 prior to the announcement.

Britain’s Cundy, who won two golds at Rio 2016, said: “I can not imagine any other sport doing the same.”

The 38-year-old told Radio 5 live: “I know of athletes not going because it is too close for them to even get back on the track, while other nations are not going because they do not have the funding.

“I am not sure the message it sends to go to Los Angeles with half of the normal competitors. It takes away from the level of competition and makes it look Mickey Mouse.”

Cundy says he only returned to training last month, for the first time since September’s Paralympics.

He added: “‘It would be nice to go in a prime condition, rather than last-minute panic-training and trying to cover all bases.”

Barney Storey, coach and husband of British multiple Paralympic gold medallist Sarah Storey, tweeted: “Para-track worlds in seven weeks, the UCI are NOT helping progress the sport. ‘Helping’ the sport to be mediocre is not progress.”

UCI president Brian Cookson said the organisation was “conscious” that some athletes are yet to return to full-intensity training.

“We believe that holding these UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships for the first time ever in a post-Paralympic season signifies notable progress and will enable our athletes to benefit from an enriched calendar as the discipline continues to develop,” added Cookson.

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Cooke ‘sceptical’ of Team Sky & Wiggins

Nicole Cooke

Nicole Cooke won the Olympic road race in Beijing in 2008

Ex-Olympic champion Nicole Cooke says she is “sceptical” of Team Sky’s drug-free credentials and Sir Bradley Wiggins’ therapeutic use exemptions.

Wiggins was granted three TUEs to take anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone before the 2011 and 2012 Tour de France and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.

“Taking TUEs just before major events raises questions for me,” Cooke said.

Cooke also told MPs British Cycling is run “by men for men” and its attempts to stop doping are “ineffective”.

Wiggins’ TUEs were approved by British authorities and cycling’s world governing body the UCI, and there is no suggestion either the 36-year-old or his former employers Team Sky have broken any rules.

Cooke, 33, made the claims in evidence submitted to a Culture, Media and Sport select committee on Tuesday.

The committee is examining doping in sport and Tuesday’s session was held to discuss issues raised at a previous hearing involving British Cycling and Team Sky in December.

In a wide-ranging testimony, Cooke provided examples of sexism she had encountered in her 13-year career, stating British Cycling shows “discrimination and favouritism” because it is “answerable to itself”.

The Welsh former world and Commonwealth cycling champion added that the fight against doping is “the wrong people fighting the wrong war, in the wrong way, with the wrong tools”.

“While there is still a way to go, British Cycling is absolutely committed to resolving the historic gender imbalance in our sport,” said the governing body in a statement.

British Cycling is the subject of an investigation by UK Anti-Doping into allegations of wrongdoing in the sport and is also awaiting the findings of an independent review into an alleged bullying culture.

Wiggins’ TUE timing ‘disturbing’

Five-time Olympic champion Wiggins was granted a TUE to treat asthma and allergies, which was revealed when hacking group Fancy Bears released athletes’ medical files stolen from the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

Cooke compared her use of the steroid triamcinolone with that of Wiggins, stating she was granted a TUE for injections of the drug to treat a career-threatening knee injury as an alternative to surgery.

She said she did not race again until “long after the performance-enhancing effects had worn off”, and she added that Wiggins appeared to use the “same steroid before his main goals of the season”.

Cooke added she found the chronology of Wiggins’ TUEs “disturbing” and that it made her “sceptical” of what Team Sky have done.

The team was launched in 2010 with a zero-tolerance approach towards doping in cycling.

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Watch: Brailsford’s tense grilling on Team Sky

Cooke on the package delivered to Wiggins

An inquiry by Ukad was launched following a Daily Mail allegation that a medical package was delivered to Wiggins on the final day of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine.

Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford told MPs in December that the package contained legal decongestant Fluimucil, but MP Damian Collins, chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, says British Cycling have been unable to provide paperwork to prove the contents of the medical package.

“I find the stance of being the cleanest team, yet Dave Brailsford not being able to say what a rider took, definitely makes it hard to back up that claim,” Cooke added.

She also raised concerns as to why Simon Cope, who was British Cycling women’s coach at the time, was chosen to courier the package to Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman in France.

“I do find it very surprising that Simon Cope transported something internationally without knowing what was in it,” Cooke told MPs.

She also alleged that Cope, a former team-mate of Wiggins at the Linda McCartney professional team, “spent some weeks riding a moped in front of Wiggins as part of a training regimen” as an example of how resources were “stripped out of the women’s program to augment the men’s program”.

‘They did nothing for women’

When asked by MPs if sexism was culturally embedded in British Cycling, Cooke said: “Yes I do”.

She claimed that during her career, the governing body showed only “transient” support for female road riders.

As part of her written evidence and appearance via video-link from Paris, Cooke cited numerous examples of “discrimination and favouritism” shown by British Cycling.

She said the prize for the women’s 2006 British Championships was a “tiny fraction” of the men’s race, despite Cooke having just won the Grande Boucle Feminine Internationale – the women’s equivalent of the Tour de France.

The 2008 road race world champion added she had to take her own skin suit to the event in Italy after British Cycling had forgotten to organise one, having to then sew a Team Sky logo onto it at the behest of Brailsford.

“The facts are they did nothing for the women,” said Cooke.

An independent review into the culture of British Cycling began after its former technical director Shane Sutton was accused of using offensive and discriminatory language towards cyclist Jess Varnish.

Despite being cleared of eight of the nine charges against him, the Australian was found guilty of using sexist language in October but denies any wrongdoing and said he would appeal the ruling.

What has the response been?

In her written evidence, Cooke said she had “no faith in the actions in support of investigations conducted by Ukad or the testing they conduct, both completed at significant expense to the public purse”.

In response, Ukad said: “There should be no doubt about the determination of this organisation to protect clean sport; our staff passionately believe in protecting everyone’s right to clean, fair and honest competition.

Regarding Cooke’s accusations of sexism, British Cycling said in a statement: “There is always more that can be done and we strive to make continual improvements to ensure that cycling is reaching out to women and girls of all ages and abilities.”

Meanwhile, UK Sport has launched an independent review to investigate some of the issues raised by Cooke.

“UK Sport takes its responsibilities as an investor of public funds and a champion of equality in sport very seriously,” said a spokesman.

“On matters raised relating to the governance of the national governing body, UK Sport and Sport England have recently published a new code for sports governance which raises the bar for the requirements around governance that all sports bodies who receive public funding will need to address and comply to.”

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