Monthly Archives: October 2017

Manon Carpenter: Ex-world champion happy with retirement decision

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Manon Carpenter: ‘excitement back’ after retiring at 24

Manon Carpenter says she’s enjoying mountain biking again after her shock retirement from downhill racing in the summer.

The 2014 world champion Carpenter, 24, walked away after admitting she no longer wanted to take the risks involved.

“It had been building up all season but it came to a point when I just realised my head wasn’t really in it any more,” she said.

“I’ve had plenty of big crashes over the years. In the past I’ve been able to get up, shake them off and not really think about them.

“But after the crash last year [when she broke her collarbone at the World Championships] and a few other crashes I’ve heard about this year from other riders, I was getting the feeling I didn’t want that.

“Since then I’ve just been riding at home and I can say the excitement’s come back.”

Staying in the sport

The Caerphilly rider spent almost six years as a professional downhill racer – winning both the World Championships and World Cup series in 2014.

But she said the 2017 season was a ‘battle’ in her mind and in August revealed her decision to retire.

“When the announcement was about to come out, I was terrified,” she admitted. “I just wanted to retire in secret and no one know about it!


Manon Carpenter was crowned world downhill mountain bike champion in 2014

“But everyone was really understanding. The fact that the reaction was so positive has really helped me stay in the sport.”

After a short break, Carpenter said she was ‘scared and nervous’ when faced with riding again. But it wasn’t long before she was riding down hills again – though this time on her own terms.

“For me there’s a difference between riding fast for fun and trying to ride on the very edge for racing,” she said.

“For me, jumps are fun. I can calculate the risks and I’ve just been enjoying it.”

No regrets

Carpenter describes her professional career as a ‘defining five or six years of my life’, but says she hasn’t missed racing.

“I’ve realised I can ride mountain bikes and be involved in the sport without the racing. So that’s been nice,” she continued. “I’m a rider and I ride for fun.

“I’m going to be working with British Cycling, getting women into mountain biking and organising rides. I’ve also talked about coaching but haven’t sorted that yet.

“I really enjoy seeing people having a good time on bikes and trying something they’ve not done before. So if I can get involved with that, I’ll be happy.”

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GB’s Carpenter wins thrilling gold

The Welsh rider will now have two months off cycling following further surgery on the collarbone she broke in 2016.

But she hasn’t ruled out competing again in some form of the sport in the future.

“I’d never say never to anything because I don’t know how I’d feel in a couple of years,” she admitted.

“Part of me walking away from racing was about me deciding what I wanted from life and what meant the most to me.

“So I don’t know if the Olympics or Commonwealths would be a carrot that would draw me out of retirement or not.”

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Briton Archibald defends Six Day London title

Katie Archibald

Katie Archibald is an Olympic gold medallist, 10-time European champion and two-time world champion

Britain’s defending champion Katie Archibald secured overall victory on the final evening of Six Day London.

The 23-year-old finished with a 55-point advantage over fellow Scot Neah Evans, with Wales’ Emily Nelson third.

Archibald, Olympic champion in the team pursuit at Rio 2016, won gold in the omnium and individual pursuit at the European Championships this month.

In the men’s team event, Mark Cavendish and Peter Kennaugh were second behind Callum Scotson and Cameron Meyer.

Archibald praised the home crowd at the Lee Valley VeloPark following her victory.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “You get a taste for it when you go to someone else’s home track and you can tell instantly when a home rider goes on the attack.

“You feel envious of it. We had that last week at the Europeans and it feels so good this week to be on the home side of it.”

Isle of Man riders Cavendish and Kennaugh came into the final day trailing Australia’s Scotson and Meyer by two laps.

Despite a bold attack in the last event – the hour-long madison – they couldn’t haul back their rivals.

“We just weren’t good enough, simple as, but I’m incredibly proud because I used to babysit for this lad,” said Cavendish.

“Now we’re riding at the London Olympic Velodrome against the best track riders in the world and it’s just been amazing.”

Follow live coverage of the Manchester Track World Cup from 10-12 November on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and app.

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Six Day London: Britain’s Katie Archibald leads going into final day

Katie Archibald

Archibald is an Olympic gold medallist, 10-time European champion and two-time world champion

Defending champion Katie Archibald leads going into the final day of Six Day London following victory in the omnium on Saturday.

The 23-year-old Briton, on 230 points, has a 53-point advantage over compatriot Neah Evans with only the madison to come.

Another Briton, Eleanor Dickinson, is third on 156 points.

The Isle of Man’s Mark Cavendish and Peter Kennaugh are second in the men’s event.

They trail Australians Cameron Meyer and Callum Scotson by two laps.

“I’m a little embarrassed about how excited I am for Sunday,” said Scot Archibald.

“I’ve got a chance to ride with Elinor Barker and an opportunity to cement myself in the madison scene.”

Archibald was second in the opening scratch race, which was won by Briton Barker, but took the tempo race, the elimination race and the points race to secure the omnium.

Archibald, Olympic champion in the women’s pursuit at Rio 2016, won gold in the omnium and individual pursuit at the European Championships this month.

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Six Day London: Watch Mark Cavendish & Peter Kennaugh on the BBC

Mark Cavendish at Six Day London

Mark Cavendish and partner Peter Kennaugh are one of three GB teams in the men’s events at Six Day London

The Six Day London event is the first of three Six Day events to be held in Europe in the next six months and BBC Sport will be showing the action from Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

Each team has two riders – Britain have ‘Manx Missile’ Mark Cavendish and Peter Kennaugh as their main pair – and the object is to gain as many points as possible from the events each day to finish top of the overall standings.

In the shorter women’s event, Olympic gold medallists Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald lead the home challenge.


Men (Six Days)

Madison: Both riders are involved in this “tag-team” event

Elimination: The last rider is eliminated every two laps

Derny: One rider lines up behind a motorised derny bike that paces the race

200m Time Trial: Riders build up speed ahead of one flat-out timed lap

Keirin: The whole field lines – and must not pass- the derny, which exits after five and a half to allow the sprint finish

Women (three days):

Omnium: Scratch race, Tempo Race, Elimination, 20 kilometre Points Race


Six Day London is the first of three similar events, with a grand final in April

Standings as of Friday night:

  • BBC Sport also has live coverage of the Track World Cup in Manchester from 10-12 November on TV, Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

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Cavendish and Kennaugh win madison event

Peter Kennaugh and Mark Cavendish

Peter Kennaugh and Mark Cavendish are both British road race champions

Mark Cavendish and Peter Kennaugh remain in contention at Six Day London after a dramatic victory in Thursday’s final madison chase event.

It moved the Manx duo to within one lap and two points of Australian leaders Callum Scotson and Cameron Meyer.

Cavendish, who has now won three races in three days, said: “Pete was great today, he really gritted his teeth in that last race.”

It was Kennaugh’s first win as he makes his Six Day debut.

He said: “Cav [Cavendish] picked one up on his own in the first two nights and I’m still trying to get to grips with it all – but it feels amazing to get that first win.”

Cavendish added: “It’s difficult to try and win here, with the best madison and Six Day riders”.

“It’s Pete’s first Six Day so we can’t really think about the overall – we just have to think about trying to win what we want to win.

Earlier on Thursday they finished fifth in the men’s team elimination, while Cavendish finished last in his 40-lap derny heat after his foot came unclipped.

At the halfway stage Scotson and Meyer top the general classification, ahead of Dutch duo Yoeri Havik and Roy Pieters.

Reigning champions Kenny de Ketele and Moreno de Pauw from Belgium are third, with Cavendish and Kennaugh fifth.

De Ketele and De Pauw won the day’s opening madison chase while Havik won the 40-lap derny race.


The London Six Day event is being held at the Lee Valley Velopark

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