Monthly Archives: June 2018

Thomas wants to challenge teammate Froome at Tour de France

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Geraint Thomas wants Tour de France yellow jersey again

Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas hopes to be able to challenge four-time winner Chris Froome for victory at this year’s Tour de France.

Welshman Thomas wore the yellow jersey until stage five of last year’s Tour de France, which Froome won.

But the 32-year-old is hopeful of a longer leadership challenge this year after recent wins in the Criterium du Dauphine and UK national time trial.

“I’d love to wear the jersey again,” he told BBC Sport Wales. “Even for a day.”

“If I could wear it for a bit longer [this year] that would be amazing. [Wearing it] it’s just an amazing feeling.”

Froome is aiming to win his fourth successive Grand Tour – after his stunning Giro d’Italia win in May followed victories in the Tour and Vuelta a Espana last summer.

However, Thomas is determined to now ride to win, having supported both Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins to Tour victories.

He says Team Sky will allow him to go toe-to-toe with four-time winner Froome when the 2018 race begins on July 7, at least up to a point.

“The team have said that with the way I’ve been riding they’re confident to give me that role of a backup guy and to race at least until the first rest day [after stage nine],” he said.

“We’ll go from there then and hopefully have two cards to play. I think the longer that both of us are up there it gives the team two options.

“I’m really motivated and I’m looking forward to it.”

Froome remains under investigation from world cycling’s governing body, the UCI, after it was revealed he had exceeded the permitted levels of salbutamol – a legal asthma medication – during his Vuelta win.

But he has continued to compete and says he expects to win the anti-doping case.

Tour de France ‘a big circus’

A broken collarbone forced Thomas to withdraw from the 2017 Tour de France after he crashed during stage nine.

But the double Olympic track champion says he’s hoping for a better time at the event he fondly describes as “a big circus.”

“Last year what could go wrong did go wrong,” he said. “Hopefully this year will be a lot better.

“It’ll certainly be a tough first week. There’ll be crosswinds, the team time trial, a few lumpy stages – which will be stressful – and obviously the cobbles.

“But I like that sort of racing so hopefully I can take advantage of that.”

‘I’m pretty confident where I’m going’

Thomas joined Team Sky for their inaugural season back in 2010.

His contract expires at the end of 2018 and he’s previously said he hoped to have his future resolved before the Tour begins.

“It’s close but nothing is official yet so I don’t want to jinx it by saying it’s done and dusted,” he said.

“I’m pretty confident where I’m going to go, but it needs the Ts crossing and the Is dotted and then I’ll be able to tell everyone.”

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Team Sky’s Thomas wins UK time trial title

Geraint Thomas had never won the UK time trial title before

Geraint Thomas had never previously won the UK time trial title

Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas has won the UK National Time Trial Championships for the first time in his career.

The Welshman, 32, clocked 48 minutes and 54 seconds in Northumberland, beating Harry Tanfield into second.

Canyon Eisberg rider Tanfield (49:31) edged out Ribble Cycling’s five-time champion Alex Dowsett (49:48).

“To come here and win the nationals for the first time is really encouraging,” said Thomas, who will now compete in the Tour de France from 7 July.

Earlier on Thursday, Hannah Barnes also won her first national time trial title as she and younger sister Alice took gold and silver in the women’s event.

Thomas’ mark on the 37.9km (23.5 miles) course was set with Dowsett – the pre-race favourite – yet to ride.

“I was confident but I didn’t know what to expect,” added Thomas. “I rarely do a one-off TT, it’s always part of a stage race where you’ve got tired legs and things.

“Obviously Tanfield has been riding well this year and I’ve been watching him, and Dowsett it’s what he does. TT’ing in the UK is a strong discipline anyway, so to come and win is super nice.

“I’m super happy. I said at the start of the year that I wanted to get [to the Tour] in the best shape possible and I’m certainly on course to do that.”

Thomas had previously won the National Road Race title in 2010 but had never succeeded in the time trial and this success follows his victory in the Criterium du Dauphine in June.

He is out of contract with Team Sky at the end of 2018 and says he is “close” to resolving his future before the Tour de France begins.

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Two-time Olympic champion Vogel "stable" after spinal surgery

Kristina Vogel

Vogel won gold and bronze at the Rio Olympics and also has 11 world titles to her name

Double Olympic champion Kristina Vogel is in a stable condition in a Berlin hospital after suffering a “serious spinal injury” in a training accident.

The 27-year-old crashed while training on a track in Cottbus on Tuesday.

A statement from her management said an emergency operation went well but the German rider remains in intensive care.

Vogel won team sprint gold at London 2012 and claimed the individual title in Rio, beating Britain’s Becky James.

According to the German Cycling Federation (BDR), Vogel, who is also a part-time police officer, collided at full speed with another racer and sustained a severe spinal injury during the fall.

Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, added that Vogel’s life was not in danger.

“We are all shocked by what has happened to Kristina, an outstanding champion and an ambassador for the discipline, for women in sport and for German cycling,” said president David Lappartient.

“Our thoughts are with her and we extend our support to her in these difficult moments. We are convinced that the qualities that have made her a champion will help her face up to this ordeal with strength and determination.”

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Two-time Olympic champion Vogel suffers serious spinal injury

Kristina Vogel

Vogel beat Britain’s Rebecca James to take gold in the sprint final at Rio Olympics in 2016

Double Olympic champion Kristina Vogel has suffered a “serious spinal injury” in a training accident.

The German Cycling Federation (BDR) said Vogel, 27, crashed while training on a track in Cottbus and is now being treated in a Berlin hospital.

“She sustained a severe spinal injury during the fall and receives intensive medical care,” the BDR said.

“Vogel collided at full speed with another racer. She will be operated on in the next few hours.”

Vogel, who also works as a part-time police officer in her native Germany, won gold in the team sprint in the London 2012 Olympics and in the individual sprint in Rio four years later, when she beat Britain’s Becky James.

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RideLondon-Surrey 2018: New 19-mile event added for younger/newer cyclists

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How RideLondon is encouraging young riders to try cycling

Younger and newer cyclists are being given an opportunity to take part in RideLondon-Surrey 2018 with the launch of a new 19-mile event.

The new ride – which is open to people 12 years and over – will start from Sandown Racecourse and take in the last section of the RideLondon-Surrey route.

Entries will be via ballot, which will close either when 4,000 entries are received or at 17:00 BST on 4 July.

It is one of eight RideLondon-Surrey events over the weekend of 28-29 July.

There are the two professional races, the Classic and Classique, as well as the 100-mile and 46-mile mass participation races, Grand Prix track races, family-friendly FreeCycle and Brompton World Championship final.

Over 100,000 cyclists are expected to participate.

Speaking about the new 19-mile event the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The RideLondon-Surrey 19 will be a great way of inspiring more people to take to two wheels.

“It is going to be a wonderful opportunity for less-experienced cyclists to ride through the world’s greatest city on traffic-free roads.

“I am delighted that students from my old school [Ernest Bevin College] are among the first to sign-up.”

Like the other RideLondon events on the Sunday, the 19-mile ride will finish on The Mall outside Buckingham Palace.

Young riders aged 12-16 years old will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult who is 18 years or over and must be able to demonstrate their cycling competence.

This can be done during registration by showing completion of the Level Two of the Bikeability programme or by being a member of a British Cycling Club.


Images from RideLondon 2017: (clockwise from top left) Handcycling Grand Prix, 100, FreeCycle, Lea Valley Festival, Green Park, FreeCycle

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