Monthly Archives: February 2020

Laura Kenny: Briton finishes 12th in World Track Championships omnium after crash

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Track Cycling World Championships: Laura Kenny crashes in women’s omnium

Britain’s Laura Kenny finished 12th in the omnium after an early crash spurned her chances of a medal at the Track Cycling World Championships in Berlin.

Kenny, a two-time Olympic and world omnium champion, was involved in a five-rider crash in the opening scratch race and required stitches to her right eye.

She was already riding with a broken shoulder sustained in January.

“It just wasn’t my day,” Kenny told BBC Sport.

“When I came down I knew my shoulder was OK and that was all I cared about and then the blood gushed out of my face and I thought ‘now what have I done?!’

“But I am glad I carried on. I need to be in races, otherwise in six months time I will feel nervous.”

Kenny returned to competition in February 2018, six months after the birth of her son Albie and went to her first training camp without him earlier this year.

“I have not sacrificed all this time from Albie for no reason,” Kenny added.

“I go away so much, spend so much time away from him and I want him to have this experience in Tokyo. Call it blind faith, but I still think I can win there.”

British Cycling confirmed Kenny was safe to continue in the omnium after a concussion check in the wake of a crash in the first discipline which saw Mexico’s Lizbeth Salazar carried off the track on a stretcher.

Netherlands’ Kirsten Wild, the defending world champion in the event, was relegated for causing the crash after finishing the 7.5km scratch race second, and placed seventh overall in the omnium.

Japan’s Yumi Kajihara won gold for her maiden world title.

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‘Blood started gushing from my face but I wasn’t going to give up’ – Kenny on omnium crash


Laura Kenny and Lizbeth Salazar were both taken out of the race by the crash


Kenny walked off the track after the crash


Kenny in discussion with British Cycling performance director Stephen Park as she warms down

Four-time Olympic champion Kenny broke her shoulder riding the tempo race of the omnium at the World Cup in Milton, Canada, on 26 January.

The 27-year-old opted against surgery in order to continue her Tokyo 2020 preparations at the World Championships.

She hopes to ride in three events at the Olympics – the omnium, team pursuit and the madison.

Kenny won women’s team pursuit silver on Thursday after riding in the first round. She had previously said she would not ride the discipline because of her injury.

Stewart 12th in points race


Stewart (right) could not stay with Corbin Strong (left) in the points race

Britain’s only other competitor on Friday, Mark Stewart, finished 12th in a points race won by New Zealand’s Corbin Strong.

Stewart, who is the reigning Commonwealth Games points race champion and won world bronze in the event in 2018, won the second sprint. The points race does not form part of the Olympic track cycling programme.

Victory for Strong – who lapped the rest of the field – came just a day after the 19-year-old also won team pursuit silver.

“I was really focused for today and really wanted it after team pursuit,” he told BBC Sport. “To do it in my second year in elite is really special.”

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Two test positive for coronavirus as UAE Tour cancelled

Adam Yates

Britain’s Adam Yates was edged out in a sprint finish by Tadej Pogacar and Alexey Lutsenko in stage five but retained his overall lead

The UAE Tour has been cancelled with two stages remaining after two Italian “staff members” tested positive for coronavirus.

Riders at the event, including Britain’s Chris Froome and Adam Yates, are now being tested for the virus.

“Safety comes at the top of all priorities,” race organisers Abu Dhabi Sports Council said.

Organisers had initially said that the two people taken ill were “participants” in the race.

“Two Italian staff members of one of the teams participating in the UAE Tour have tested positive for the coronavirus,” the UAE Tour later said on Twitter.

“The decision has been taken to ensure protection of all the race’s participants.”

Yates led after the fifth stage before teams and riders announced late on Thursday the race had been cancelled.

“It’s a shame that the UAE Tour has been cancelled but public health must come first,” Froome tweeted.

“We’re awaiting testing and will remain at the hotel until further notice.”

More than 80,000 people in nearly 50 countries have been infected by coronavirus.

Nearly 2,800 have died, with the majority of the deaths in China.

Italy and Iran have become major centres of infection, with people travelling from those countries spreading the virus further afield.

The UAE’s ministry of health and prevention said all riders, administrative staff and organisers will be examined through “continuous periodic screening” and quarantine measures will be taken to “curb the spread of its outbreak”.

Four-time Tour de France winner Froome was back racing for the first time since breaking his leg at the Criterium du Dauphine in June last year.

“I hope those affected make a speedy recovery and there aren’t any further cases,” he added.

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GB win men’s team sprint silver at Worlds

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World Track Cycling Championships: GB win silver as Netherlands a set a new world record

Jason Kenny, Jack Carlin and Ryan Owens won Great Britain’s first medal of the Track Cycling World Championships in Berlin with silver in the men’s team sprint.

GB, the current Olympic champions, were beaten to gold by the Netherlands, who lowered their own world record to 41.225 seconds after breaking it in the previous round.

The Netherlands have now three successive world titles in the event, with Australia winning bronze in the German capital.

Earlier, Laura Kenny finished fourth in the scratch race, a month after breaking her shoulder.

The 27-year-old four-time Olympic champion was edged out on the line as the Netherlands’ Kirsten Wild won gold.

Jennifer Valente of the United States and Portugal’s Maria Martins took silver and bronze respectively.

“It was one of those races and it’s such a lottery – it’s hard to not be disappointed,” Kenny told BBC Four.

“I should’ve let Kirsten go a bit and if I had some space I would’ve had something to run into. I was going full gas and fourth is the worst place you can finish.

“I wanted to come regardless of my form and I’m quite pleased to be here, but I wish I had done better in that race.

“I feel alright, that’s why it’s frustrating. It’s just a tactical error and one of those things you can change. My legs felt good but my tactics were just not that good.

“My shoulder is still broken but when I’m on the bike I can’t feel it at all.”

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World Track Cycling Championships: Laura Kenny misses out on medal in women’s scratch race

Kenny suffered the injury in a crash during the tempo race at the World Cup in Milton, Canada in January.

She previously told BBC Sport how she chose not to have an operation – against a surgeon’s advice – in order to continue her Tokyo 2020 preparations, but she will not compete in the team pursuit or Madison in Berlin.

The scratch race – in which Kenny won world gold in 2016 – is not an Olympic event.

GB men fail to make team pursuit finals

In the men’s team pursuit, GB – the Olympic champions in the event at the last three Games – missed out on the medal finals despite beating Germany in the first round.

Ed Clancy, Ethan Hayter, Charlie Tanfield and Ollie Wood had earlier finished seventh in qualifying with a time of 3:50.341 – just over the then-world record GB set to win gold at Rio 2016.

Denmark will face New Zealand in the gold medal final after twice breaking the world record, while Italy will take on Australia for bronze.

Clancy had previously told BBC Sport the championships “could be tricky” for GB but reaffirmed on Tuesday that “the best is still to come”.

“There’s a part of me that knows we’re going to do better in Tokyo and our best is still to come,” the 34-year-old told BBC TV.

“It’s never nice putting on a Great Britain jersey and only getting sixth or fifth, but nothing changes. The dream is still to win in Tokyo and we have the right riders. We’re going to eat, sleep and commit to a training programme with one race in mind in August.

“We can only focus on ourselves. I’ve ridden with Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins and I believe we have guys in our current line-up that are doing similar things.”


Great Britain missed out on a medal in the men’s team pursuit

Clancy is a three-time Olympic team pursuit champion with Tokyo set to be his final Games before retirement, yet despite facing an uphill climb, he remains optimistic about the team’s chances come the summer.

“Winning an Olympic gold medal is not going to be easy,” he said.

“Doing it once is hard, two times, three times and for the British cycling team in the team pursuit to go for a fourth time running is going to be a very difficult thing, there’s no doubt about that – it’s been made clear for us today, but I still think we’re in with a shout [in Tokyo].”

Earlier in the day, the British quartet of Elinor Barker, Katie Archibald, Ellie Dickinson and Neah Evans qualified second fastest in the women’s team pursuit.

GB – the reigning Olympic champions in the event – clocked 4:11.871 with the United States finishing top of qualifying ahead of Thursday’s first round, when they will face Canada.

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Britain’s Yates wins stage three to take overall lead in UAE Tour

Adam Yates

British rider Adam Yates won the 2018 Vuelta a Espana and his twin brother Simon also rides for Mitchelton-Scott

Britain’s Adam Yates leads the UAE Tour after a stunning attack to win stage three by the Mitchelton-Scott rider.

Yates claimed his first stage win outside Europe after breaking clear 6km from the top of Jebel Hafeet.

The 27-year-old shook off Alexey Lutsenko and David Gaudu to effectively win his first WorldTour stage since last April.

Britain’s Chris Froome was dropped at the foot of the climb and finished 10min 49sec behind Yates.

Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) overtook the chase group of Gaudu and Lutsenko but could not catch Yates, who collected the 10-second time bonus and finished 1:02 ahead.

Previous race leader, Australia’s Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), and British Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider James Knox were dropped inside the final 10km climb, while Mark Cavendish finished in the gruppetto.

“It is my first race of the season, so it was difficult for me to estimate where I stood compared to the competition,” said Yates.

“With today’s heat, it’s difficult to estimate – I think it was 37 to 38 degrees all day. I just wanted to test the legs to see where I am.

“That was perhaps a little too early [to attack], but I felt good. A few boys came along and behind me I could see that they organised themselves. I just went for it then.”

The 187km stage went from Al Qudra Cycle Track near Dubai through Abu Dhabi and up to Jebel Hafeet – one of the highest peaks in the UAE – near Al Ain.

Wednesday’s stage four covers 173km from Zabeel Park in Dubai to Dubai City Walk.

The seven-stage race finishes on 29 February.

UAE Tour – Stage 3 result

1. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) 4hrs 42mins 33secs

2. Tadej Pogacar (Fra/UAE Emirates) +1min 03secs

3. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz/Astana Pro Team) +1min 30secs

4. David Gaudu (Fra/Groupama – FDJ) same time

5. Rafal Majka (Pol/BORA-hansgrohe) same time

6. Diego Ulissi (Ita/UAE Team Emirates) +1min 56secs

7. Patrick Konrad (Aut/BORA-hansgrohe) same time

8. Gorka Izagirre (Spa/Astana Pro Team) same time

9. Jesus Herrada (Spa/Cofidis) same time

10. Eddie Dunbar (Ire/Team INEOS ) same time

Overall standings after stage 3

1. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton – Scott) 12hrs 30mins 02secs

2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +1min 07secs

3. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz/Astana Pro Team) +1min 35secs

4. David Gaudu (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +1min 40secs

5. Rafal Majka (Pol/BORA-hansgrohe) same time

6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) +2mins 06secs

7. Diego Ulissi (Ita/UAE Team Emirates) same time

8. Patrick Konrad (Aut/BORA-hansgrohe) same time

9. Jesús Herrada (Spa/Cofidis) same time

10. Eddie Dunbar (Ire/Team INEOS) same time

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World Championships ‘could be tricky’ for Britain

Charlie Tanfield, Ethan Hayter, Ed Clancy and Kian Emadi

Clancy (second from right) along with Charlie Tanfield, Ethan Hayter and Kian Emadi won World Championship gold in 2018

This week’s World Championships “could be tricky” for Britain’s team pursuit squad says Ed Clancy, but the Olympic champion maintains the focus is on the “bigger picture” of Tokyo 2020.

GB, including Clancy, have won the last three Olympic titles in the event.

But Australia have established themselves as the dominant force since Rio 2016 and are favourites to win gold at this week’s Worlds in Berlin.

“The competition is red hot,” Clancy, 34, told BBC Sport.

“In an ideal world, we’d be sat on top of the pile but the reality is, right now, I think we’re behind those guys and it could potentially be a tricky World Championships for us.

“But that won’t change anything as we head towards Tokyo. We know we’ll do a better performance there, as we have done in the past.”

Clancy, also a six-time world champion, says it is a “golden era” in men’s team pursuit but admits the squad have had to “temper emotions” heading into the championships.

“You won’t necessarily see the fruits of all our hard work in the next week or two but in five months’ time we’re going to see some good stuff and I think we’ll do some performances that the British public can be proud of once again,” he said.

“If I could have it my way, we’d have the ability, the talent and the resources to win at every World Cup, every Europeans and every World Championships, but the reality is that we are a very heavily biased Olympic programme that specifically targets one event every four years.”

‘I’ve got two races left’


Clancy has won three Olympic team pursuit golds in addition to omnium bronze at London 2012

Fifteen years after making his World Championship debut, Clancy is preparing for what is likely to be his last, with retirement looming after the Olympics.

He has already made headway on his next chapter, launching a cycling academy, but insists his focus is firmly on completing a golden quartet in Tokyo.

“I’m getting on these days, and thinking back, 2005 was my first World Championships and 15 years later we’re still hanging on,” he said.

“I prefer not to see it as hanging on, but the reality is that at some point it’s going to come to an end – though not before Tokyo.

“The dream, without doubt, is to go and win gold again in Tokyo. That’s what we’re all about.

“I’ve got two races left. The World Championships and the Olympics. But when you break it down, there are six times, at most, I’m going to get on that bike with the union jack on my back. That’s quite something.”

Asked whether winning gold in Tokyo would be the best of his career or the hardest, Clancy said: “The answer is yes to both.

“Just by nature, it makes what guys like Sir Steve Redgrave have done such a special thing.

“To win one Olympic gold in your lifetime is against the odds; to go and do it a second time, it’s working more and more against you, and then a third and a fourth time, it would be wrong if it was something that was easy to do, which is why I guess not many people have done it four or five times in successive Olympics.

“It’s a big dream, but I think we’re on a decent trajectory and I’m doing everything I can to work towards that goal.”

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