Thursday, 12 April 2012

Cycling News from around the World 12.04.12

G-Man says London is main goal - Tony Martin injured - Schleck brushes off Brabantse disaster - Energiewacht Tour Video Review - Provisional Amstel/Women's Fleche Wallonne start lists - Cycling Ireland receives financial boost - Cipo to open British bike show - Paul Smith opens bike shop in Harrods - MP backs Yorkshire Tour bid - Could you ride for The Clan?

Thomas: London is "main 2012 goal"
Geraint Thomas
Geraint Thomas has replied to comments made by British Cycling coach Chris Sutton, who said recently that he believed the Welsh rider had felt pressured into staying away from the Tour de France this year to concentrate on the Olympics.

Speaking to Wales Online, Thomas said: "I have always said London was my main 2012 goal and I don’t want to jeopardise my chances. But a home Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and to have a chance of winning a gold medal is amazing. Being British is part of the reason I am committing to the Games and I won’t deny that. Other nations maybe don’t see the Olympics as important as the British. Being Welsh is also an important factor and we don’t have that many gold medal prospects. To be one of those makes me massively proud." He also says that he has known Sutton since he was 14, that he knew beforehand what Sutton was going to say and that there is no rift nor secrets between them.

Tony Martin, now with Omega Pharma
Tony Martin injured
Tony Martin, World Time Trial Champion, was injured in an accident involving a car during an accident involving a car yesterday near his home in Switzerland. Early reports suggesting that he hit the car now appear to have been mistaken and it seems the car driver was at fault. Having lost consciousness, the Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider was taken to hospital where he was found to have a fractured cheekbone.

His condition is described as stable and updates will be released via the official team website. It won't be known until further tests have been carried out whether or not he'll require surgery, though a fractured cheekbone frequently does in order to prevent facial disfiguration, nor how long he'll be forced to remain away from competition.

Schleck crashes out of Brabantse Pijl
RadioShack-Nissan's Andy Schleck (our favourite for the race) crashed during yesterday's Brabantse Pijl and received a minor injury to his hand. "The doctor said if my hand still hurts tomorrow I should have it x-rayed but I feel confident that there isn't a problem," the Luxembourgian rider explained in a team press release.

However, many noted that his performance in the race was not what it has been early in recent years, leading to concerns that he will not have the form to do well in the Grand Tours this year. Andy, however, is more optimistic and brushes yesterday off as bad luck. "Three guys crashed in front of me so I couldn’t avoid it at all.  I chased back and got to the bottom of the climb, so I shifted to the small ring and realized my bike was broken. I lost the peloton again," he says. "I’ve been lucky for two years with no crashes so I hope this was the last crash of the season."

Other News
The organisers of this year's Energiewacht Tour, which was won by Ina-Yoko Teutenberg last week, have produced a video review of the race showing highlights of the event. Hailed as one of the finest showcases of women's cycling for some time, the six-stage event featured very fast and aggressive racing on a series of short circuits. The video can be seen on the official race website.

provisional Amstel Gold start list has been published. The race is due to take place this Sunday. A provisional list for the Women's Fleche Wallonne has also been made available here.

Cipo to open bike show
Insurance provider FBD has signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Cycling Ireland, the latest gesture the company has made in its ongoing efforts to support Irish sport (it also sponsors several football leagues and is expected to also soon announce a similar deal with Irish tennis) and a huge boost for the country's cycling ambitions. Precise details have not yet been announced, but terms are thought to be sufficient to give the Federation's Talent Team 2020 - which aims to send an eight-strong team to the Olympics that year - access to top-level equipment, coaching, race experience and scientific support. (More from Sports Pro Media)

Mario Cipollini will cut the ribbon to open the new IPC Road Cycling Show at Sandowne Park on the 21st of April, say organisers, where he'll meet fans and sign autographs (unless, that is, it's raining or there's a bit of a hill on the way to the ribbon, in which case he'll probably be helicoptered away before sending back photos of himself with exotic cocktail in hand on some tropical beach somewhere). Tickets to the show are £12 in advance, £15 on the door and can be booked here. (More from Cycling Weekly.)

Fashion designer and professional cycling fan Paul Smith has opened a bike shop in the sports department of Harrods. The shop sells a selection of doubtless-not-very-cheap t-shirts, jerseys and magazines in addition to offering a custom bike building service from bike firms Mercier, Paris, Brompton and the legendary Condor.

Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart has urged the people of Yorkshire to pledge support for their region's bid to host the start of the 2016 Tour de France. "The Tour de France is one of the world's top sporting events, and hosting it in our county would be fantastic. In 2007 the race visited London and the South East, bringing with it a huge boost in tourism and media coverage," he says - a statement that is almost enough to earn him forgiveness for A; spending £426 of taxpayer money on new bed linen and towels in 2007 and B; being a Tory. You can add your support to the bid here.

Could you ride for The Clan?
Requirements are simple: you'll need to be committed, brave and a skilled BMX/trials/mountain bike stunt rider.

Oh - and female. The Clan, based in Scotland, is the only stunt team in the UK with female riders; its aim, in the words of manager Iain Withers, being to teach children "cycling is cool and fun and exciting for everyone. We were going round schools for Cycling Scotland and there was a lot of research that made it quite clear that if girls are going to get into cycling they need female role models to look up to."

Originally, Withers thought it would be difficult to find suitable female riders in such a male-dominated sport and so he was pleasantly surprised when six very talented women applied. This year, ten have already applied for the place. Got the skills? More information here. (More on the team from The Guardian.)

The Clan in action


Mark Cavendish ‏ @MarkCavendish 
Sometimes I can be such a twat. Wish I realised it before it happened!

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