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Welsh cyclist Scott Davies ‘nervous’ before professional debut

Welsh cyclist Scott Davies

Welsh cyclist Scott Davies was fourth overall in the 2017 U23 Giro d’Italia

Welsh cyclist Scott Davies is “quite nervous” as he prepares for his debut ride on the UCI World Tour at this week’s Tour Down Under in Australia.

The 22-year-old from Carmarthen signed his first professional contract with Team Dimension Data in September.

The 2018 Tour Down Under begins in Adelaide on Tuesday and ends eight days later.

“I’m looking forward to it but I won’t lie – I’m quite nervous as well,” he told BBC Sport Wales.

“It’s essentially the same job but the scale of it and the professionalism have really stood out so far.

“It’s still early days so I’m still learning a lot and trying to take it all in.”

Dining hall ‘packed with stars’

Davies has won the last four British Under-23s time trial titles and spent the previous two years with Team Wiggins.

He now lines up in the same squad as 30-time Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish after signing a two-year deal with South Africa-based Team Dimension Data.

“The dining hall here is packed with stars so I feel very lucky to be where I am and I just want to make the most of it,” Davies said.

He continued: “2018 for me is going to be a lot of learning.

“Hopefully some results too, but I’m going to prioritise the learning and put it to good use in 2019.”

Davies’ fellow countryman Owain Doull will race the Tour Down Under for Team Sky.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/42682220

National Track Championships: Jason Kenny set to compete in 2018 event

Jason Kenny prepares to compete in the sprint final of the Revolution Series in Manchester

Jason Kenny was beaten by France’s Gregory Bauge in the Revolution Series sprint final on Saturday

Six-time Olympic champion Jason Kenny will continue his return to competitive cycling at the British National Track Championships this month.

The 29-year-old finished second on Saturday in his first track event since reversing a secret retirement decision after winning three golds at Rio 2016.

He will race in the team sprint at the event in Manchester from 26-28 January.

Olympic and world champion Katie Archibald will defend her points, scratch and individual pursuit titles.

The Scot, 23, will also compete in the keirin, in which she won silver last year, and the individual sprint.

Elinor Barker, who won team pursuit gold alongside Archibald at the Rio Olympics, is set to ride the scratch and points races.

“I know everybody says it, but that’s because it’s true – there really is so much strength in depth and it’s really tough racing,” said three-time world champion Barker.

“I’ve actually won more world titles that I have national titles in my career, which I think just shows how tough the competition at national level is.”

London 2012 team pursuit champion Dani Rowe is registered to compete in the endurance events, while Rio 2016 individual sprint bronze medallist Katy Marchant will return after missing last year’s championships through injury.

Britain’s joint most-successful Olympian Kenny will race alongside double Olympic champion Philip Hindes at the National Cycling Centre, but Callum Skinner, who also won team sprint gold at Rio, is set to ride the kilo, as will two-time Olympic team pursuit champion Steven Burke.

Four-time Paralympic and 12-time world champion Jody Cundy leads the para-cycling line-up and will be joined by Rio 2016 gold medallists Sophie Thornhill, Lora Fachie, Louis Rolfe and Jon-Allan Butterworth.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/42660991

‘Impossible to estimate’ when Van Gorkom will wake from coma

Jelle van Gorkom

Jelle van Gorkom won silver at the 2015 World Championships and the Rio Olympics in 2016

Olympic BMX medallist Jelle van Gorkom has been taken off sleep medication, but Dutch cycling officials say it is “impossible to estimate” how long it will take for him to awake from a coma.

Van Gorkom suffered multiple injuries in a training crash on Tuesday.

The Royal Dutch Cycling Union (KNWU) said he appeared to be recovering but there are “concerns about what impact the accident has had on his brain”.

“The doctors cannot make any statements about this at this stage,” it added.

Van Gorkom, 27, suffered broken ribs, a facial fracture, a tear in the skull and damage to the liver, spleen and kidneys in the accident at a BMX track at the national sports centre in eastern Papendal near Arnhem.

The KNWU said Van Gorkom was no longer receiving sleep medication, which “means he must wake up from the coma on his own”.

Van Gorkom won silver medals at the 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/42678832

British Cycling failures hindered jiffy-bag inquiry – UK Anti

British Cycling centre

No charges were brought over the ‘mystery’ medical package delivered for Sir Bradley Wiggins at the Criterium du Dauphine in 2011

UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) claimed its ‘jiffy-bag’ investigation had been “hindered” and may have even been “potentially compromised” by British Cycling’s failure to report doping allegations sooner, the BBC can reveal.

In a confidential and highly critical letter dated 14 November 2017, and sent after Ukad halted its inquiry into a mystery 2011 medical delivery, British Cycling was told its medical storeroom at the National Velodrome had been “chaotic and disorganised”.

The agency also pointed to “little if any evidence of supervision or executive oversight” of team doctors.

Ukad had refused to release letters it sent to both British Cycling and Team Sky, despite Freedom of Information requests from the BBC and other media organisations, saying it would leave it open to legal action and that it was not in the public interest.

But for the first time, the details can now be disclosed after BBC Sport obtained the correspondence.

Background

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Watch: Brailsford’s tense grilling on Team Sky

Ukad – which is publicly funded – spent 14 months looking into an allegation that a mystery medical delivery for former Team Sky star rider Sir Bradley Wiggins at a race in France in June 2011 contained a banned corticosteroid.

Former British Cycling chief medic Dr Richard Freeman, who administered the substance, along with Wiggins and Team Sky, always denied any wrongdoing, and claimed the package contained a legal decongestant.

However, a lack of documentation about the drug dispatched from the medical storeroom that Team Sky shared with British Cycling at their Manchester headquarters meant Ukad was then forced to bring its investigation to a close with no charges brought.

Freeman said he had lost his records when his laptop was stolen on holiday, and he then failed to talk to Ukad because of ill health.

Wiggins suggested he may sue Ukad, saying he and his family had been put through “a living hell”.

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Bradley Wiggins: ‘This was about putting myself back on a level playing field’
  • No charges over ‘mystery’ medical package
  • QA: cycling inquiry and ‘mystery’ package
  • Team Sky ‘gamed system’ over banned drugs

‘Chaotic’

Ukad said its inquiry had been “hampered” by poor record-keeping and the cross-over between personnel at British Cycling and Team Sky, a view reinforced in the strongly worded letter it sent to the governing body’s chief executive Julie Harrington in November.

In it, Ukad says: “We found no formal processes or procedures in place to record the purchase, use, or disposal of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies, ie a medical stock-taking system, except for invoices kept by the finance department.

“There was no process to record what products or supplies were stored by British Cycling at the velodrome or elsewhere, and what was checked in and out of the medical room on site.

“There were no records of pharmaceutical medical supply packages sent by British Cycling to teams competing at events at home or abroad.

“The medical room at the velodrome was chaotic and disorganised. There was no apparent filing system, and papers were just piled up in cupboards and filing cabinets.

“Electronic medical records were not kept… nor was there any back-up system. We found little if any evidence of supervision or executive oversight of the team doctors.

“There are considerable periods of time in which it is impossible to ascertain if (some) staff were operating as members of British Cycling or Team Sky.”

‘Hindered our investigation’

In the private correspondence, Ukad is also very critical of British Cycling’s handling of the allegations, which were first revealed in the Daily Mail in October 2016.

“Despite being aware of allegations in relation to the 2011 package, British Cycling were slow to inform Ukad of these,” it adds.

“In fact, contact on this matter was made at Ukad instigation. Contact by British Cycling with some members of staff at British Cycling prior to informing Ukad could have potentially compromised our investigation.

“Under the UK National Anti-Doping policy by which British Cycling is bound, there is an obligation on an NGB (national governing body) of a sport to report any suspicions or allegations of doping.

“Failure to inform Ukad at the time that individuals within British Cycling became aware of such suspicions or allegations meant that this story had already reached a number of individuals before Ukad was informed, and thus able to act. That only hindered our efforts.

“We would suggest that all relevant staff are reminded of their obligations.”

In a statement, British Cycling said it “welcomed and accepted the recommendations made by Ukad in its letter sent to us on the conclusion of its investigation in November last year”.

It added: “British Cycling has made a number of significant changes to the provision of medical services to the Great Britain cycling team. All of the recommendations of a review commissioned in April 2017 have been implemented. This review was in response to initial findings by Ukad given to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee in March 2017.

“We continue to partner and support Ukad in the important work it conducts to keep sport clean.”

British Cycling, which is due to receive £43m of public funding for the current Olympic cycle and is trying to recover from a series of scandals, published details of the correspondence on Friday evening after the BBC contacted the organisation for a comment.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/42668551

National Cyclo-Cross Championships: Live coverage on the BBC

Evie Richards

Evie Richards is seeking to retain her under-23 title

On Sunday BBC Sport will show live coverage from day two of the 2018 National Cyclo-Cross Championships at Sunderland’s Hetton Lyons Country Park.

In the elite races, Helen Wyman will seek to win the women’s title after missing out in 2017 because of injury, while Ian Field will bid to make it six national titles in the men’s race.

Reigning champion Evie Richards will look to repeat her victory in the under-23 women’s event, while junior world champion Tom Pidcock is favourite in the men’s under-23 event.

The BBC will show coverage live on Connected TVs, the BBC Sport website and the mobile sport app.

Coverage times

09:15-12:00, – Men’s Women’s U23’s Races

13:10-15:30, – Men’s Women’s Elite Races

Both programmes are available worldwide.

Times are GMT and subject to late changes.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/42655155

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