Monthly Archives: March 2017

Former Olympic velodrome reopens for 125th anniversary

Charles Bazzano (left) is followed by Reg HarrisImage copyright
Topical Press Agency

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The Herne Hill Velodrome hosted the cycle events during the 1948 London Olympic Games

A historic velodrome used in the 1948 Olympics has reopened on its 125th anniversary following extensive renovation.

Crowdfunding and £750,000 of National Lottery cash has supported the building of a new pavilion at the Herne Hill Velodrome.

The Velodrome was where Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins began his cycling career.

The 450m cycle track was recently granted a 99-year lease.

Hillary Peachey, Chairman of the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust, said she was “immensely proud” of the project.

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The Herne Hill Velodrome has re-opened following the third and final stage of it’s renovation

Ms Peachey said “it has been a long journey” but that the “community came together” to help re-furbish the facilities dilapidated pavilion.

The new stand, which was built using materials from the old structure, includes changing rooms, first aid room and club room overlooking the site.

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We Are Sports

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The original pavilion had fallen into a state of despair

Image copyright
Carl Ison

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The new pavilion utilises six of the original 1890’s decorated cast iron columns to support the grandstand roof

Before the 2012 Olympics a deal was reached between British Cycling and the owner of the site, Dulwich Estate.

A new games area, junior cycling track and lighting system were added to the south London site.

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Five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Bradley Wiggins began cycling at the track

It is now hoped the improvements will see more people using the venue throughout the year.

Charles Johnston, Director of Property at Sport England, said: “The new pavilion will help position the velodrome as a first-class venue ideal for everyone in the local community and beyond.”

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Luke Rowe: Team Sky cyclist targets podium at Tour of Flanders

Luke Rowe

Luke Rowe during last year’s Tour of Flanders event

Luke Rowe is targeting a podium finish at this Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.

The 26-year-old will lead Team Sky’s challenge alongside Englishman Ian Stannard in the one-day classic.

Welshman Rowe, who has a top finish of third this season, feels improving on his fifth place at Flanders in 2016 is the next natural aim, having finished outside the top 50 in 2015.

“I’m pretty optimistic ahead of the race, and podium would be the next step up,” he told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

“But to just be in a position where you’re leading one of the biggest professional cycling teams in the world in one of the biggest professional cycling races in the world is a nice position to be in.”

The 2017 Tour of Flanders takes place in Belgium on Sunday, 2 April, with the gruelling 260.8km route including 18 climbs and cobbled sectors.

The following Sunday on 9 April riders will tackle Paris-Roubaix, the 257km route between Compiegne and Roubaix in Northern France, known also as Hell of the North.

Rowe feels he can make an impact in both races.

“For me they’re the biggest two races of the season and they’re the two races which suit my characteristics and I know I can perform in them,” he said.

“They’re just special, real iconic events in our sport and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into them.

“It’ll be six or seven hours, 250-260km full focus and hopefully things will fall into place and I’ll get some good results.”

Rowe will then turn his attention to preparing for the Tour de France and helping team-mate Chris Froome win a fourth title.

After competing in the race in 2015 and 2016 the Welshman is very much looking forward to being involved again.

“I’ve been there the past few years and Froomey (Chris Frome) has won them both, and to be part of that winning team has been pretty special,” he said.

“I could potentially race the Tour of Yorkshire because I like to race on home roads and then I’ll do an altitude camp up in Mount Etna and then I’ll do the Dauphine.

“It’s a pretty hectic programme but I hope to keep myself ticking over and gain a place in the Tour de France squad again and do the business for Froomey.”

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MP questions ex-Team Sky doctor’s evidence

Team Sky

Team Sky admitted “mistakes were made” over the medical package but deny breaking anti-doping rules

Evidence given by the doctor involved in an investigation into alleged wrongdoing in cycling has been criticised by an MP.

Former Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman was answering questions about a mystery medical package delivered to him in 2011 for the team’s former rider Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Freeman, who now works for British Cycling, said the Jiffy bag contained only the legal decongestant Fluimucil, but added he “regrets” failing to back-up his clinical records.

Damian Collins – chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, which has been conducting an inquiry into doping – said the evidence “leaves major questions for Team Sky and British Cycling”.

The delivery, on the final day of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine race in France, has also been the subject of a UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) investigation.

  • Wiggins will ‘shock people’ over claims
  • I will not resign – Team Sky’s Brailsford
  • British Cycling admits ‘care’ failings
  • QA: Cycling inquiry ‘mystery package’

Dr Freeman withdrew from a planned appearance in front of the parliamentary committee earlier in March citing ill health. During the hearing, Team Sky and British Cycling’s record-keeping was questioned, with Ukad chief Nicole Sapstead telling the committee her organisation did not know for sure if Fluimucil was in the package because there was no paperwork.

Freeman has now provided written responses to a number of questions.

He said “only Fluimucil was contained in the package sent” and he had requested it “a day or two before the end of the Dauphine”.

Freeman explained he did not believe the specific form of Fluimucil he required was available in France and added: “My first thought was of the supply I had in Manchester, and that the team would be able to access that supply quickly.”

In response to questions around record-keeping, Freeman said: “The present system of medical record-keeping and medicines management is a massive improvement to that which existed in 2011.

“I accept that it would have been desirable to have backed up my clinical records, whatever system was used. I regret not doing this.”

In response, Collins said in a statement: “Once again, this new evidence leaves major questions outstanding for Team Sky and British Cycling. In particular, why were no back-up medical records kept for Bradley Wiggins in 2011, beyond those on Dr Freeman’s laptop computer?

“Why were there not more formal protocols enforced on record-keeping, and whose responsibility was it to make sure that Team Sky’s own stated policies were being enforced.”

In December, Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford told the committee the package in question contained Fluimucil, and while Team Sky have admitted “mistakes were made” over the medical package, they deny breaking anti-doping rules.

There is no suggestion either Wiggins, 36, or Team Sky broke any rules.

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Adam Yates fourth as Valverde seals Volta

Alejandro Valverde (second left) crosses the line on Sunday

Alejandro Valverde also won the Tour of Catalonia in 2009

Britain’s Adam Yates narrowly missed out on a podium finish as Alejandro Valverde claimed his second Volta a Catalunya title.

Orica rider Yates, 24, finished fourth overall, one minute and 31 seconds behind Valverde, who won Sunday’s seventh and final stage.

Alberto Contador was second in the final classification, with Valverde’s Movistar team-mate Marc Soler completing an all-Spanish top three.

Chris Froome finished 30th.

Victory continues a superb start to the season for 36-year-old Valverde, who also beat Contador by a second to win the Tour of Andalusia and was victorious in the one day Tour of Murcia for a fifth time in February.

Valverde’s win is even more impressive given every Movistar rider was handed a one minute penalty for infringements by Jose Joaquin Rojas in Tuesday’s team time trial.

His secured the overall win with a perfectly-timed sprint finish to pip Colombian Jarlinson Pantano on Sunday.

Valverde had launched a late attack alongside Irishman Daniel Martin with three kilometres to go of the 138.7km race around Barcelona.

“Today I felt good after a really hard stage yesterday, everything was easier today because of the team,” said Valverde.

“I knew Daniel [Martin] would attack when he did as he always does that and I worked very hard to stay with him and in the end I won by a hair’s breadth.”

The Spaniard also won stages three and five of the event.

Meanwhile at the Gent-Wevelgem one-day classic, local favourite and Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet of BMC won, holding off a challenge from fellow BelgianJen Keukeleire and the advancing world champion Peter Sagan.

Van Avermaet celebrated a hat-trick of victories in the Belgian cobbled classics this season having also won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and E3 Harelbeke.

In the under-23 race, Britain’s Jacob Hennessy sprinted to victory.

Volta a Catalunya stage seven result:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) 3hrs 8mins 50secs

2. Jarlinson Pantano (Col/Trek) Same time

3. Arthur Vichot (Fra/FDJ)

4. Rafal Majka (Pol/BORA)

5. Daniel Martin (Ire/Quick-Step)

6. Aldemar Reyes (Col/Manzana Postobon)

7. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R)

8. Davide Formolo (Ita/Cannondale)

9. George Bennett (NZ/LottoNL)

10. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/LottoNL)

Final classification

1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) 25hrs 27mins 15secs

2. Alberto Contador (Spa/Trek) +1min 03secs

3. Marc Soler (Spa/Movistar) +1min 16secs

4. Adam Yates (GB/Orica) +1min 31secs

5. Tejay van Garderen (US/BMC Racing) +1min 34secs

6. Daniel Martin (Ire/Quick-Step) +2mins 29secs

7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/LottoNL) +2 mins 56secs

8. Carlos Verona (Spa/Orica) +3mins 00secs

9. George Bennett (NZ/LottoNL) +3mins 01sec

10. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R) +3mins 05secs

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Wiggins will ‘shock people’ when he has his say on ‘mystery package’

Sir Dave Brailsford and Sir Bradley Wiggins at the Giro d'Italia in 2013

Sir Dave Brailsford and Sir Bradley Wiggins at the Giro d’Italia in 2013

Sir Bradley Wiggins says he will “shock a few people” when he has his say on an investigation into a “mystery package” delivered for him in 2011.

Wiggins, 36, said controversy over the package delivered while he was riding for Team Sky had been “horrible”.

UK Anti-Doping is investigating doping claims but there is no suggestion either Wiggins or Team Sky broke rules.

“It’s the worst thing to be accused of when you’re a man of my integrity,” Wiggins told Sky Sports’ Soccer AM.

“It’s been horrible. But fortunately there’s an investigation and I obviously can’t say too much because that investigation will run its course and then I’ll have my say.

“There’s a lot to say, and it’s going to shock a few people.”

  • QA: Cycling inquiry ‘mystery package’

Team Sky have admitted “mistakes were made” over the delivery of the package at the Criterium du Dauphine but deny breaking anti-doping rules.

However they have been unable to provide records to back up the claim by team boss Sir Dave Brailsford that Wiggins was given a legal decongestant.

The original allegation made to Ukad was that the package delivered by then-British Cycling coach Simon Cope to ex-Team Sky medic Dr Richard Freeman in 2011 contained anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone.

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Watch: Brailsford’s tense grilling on Team Sky

Britain’s most decorated Olympian, an asthma sufferer, was granted a TUE to take triamcinolone before the 2011 Tour de France, his 2012 Tour win and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) has sought answers relating to the package and also Wiggins’ use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs). MPs have also criticised the team’s record-keeping.

Team Sky have said they are “confident” no wrongdoing will be found when the inquiry is concluded.

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