Section: Cycling

Cycling: Sir Bradley Wiggins launches new track and road cycling team

Former Tour de France champion Sir Bradley Wiggins has launched his own cycling team as part of his preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The four-time Olympic champion will try to break the individual world hour record as part of his build-up to Rio with Team Wiggins.

“Cycling has given me everything,” said the 34-year-old.

“I want to build something to inspire kids and to reach all those people who might be on the fringes of the sport.”

He added: “My message is simple: if I can do it, then so can you.”

The team will feature young British talent including England’s Andy Tennant, Jon Dibben, Steven Burke, Daniel Patten and Mike Thompson, Welshman Owain Doull, Mark Christian of the Isle of Man and Scotland’s Iain Paton.

The team’s calendar of UK track and road events will be unveiled in spring 2015.

Team Wiggins will operate independently of British Cycling, but the governing body has given its backing to the outfit, which aims to provide opportunities for British riders to gain experience and track time together in the build-up to Rio 2016.

British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake said Wiggins has “helped to inspire a new generation of British cyclists”.

He added: “Sir Bradley won his first Olympic medal in Sydney in 2000 and it’s impressive to see him still breaking new ground now, 15 years later with his Wiggins team.”

Wiggins will continue to ride with Team Sky until April, before switching his focus to the track and his Olympic bid.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cycling: Sir Bradley Wiggins signs Team Sky extension until end of April

Britain’s Sir Bradley Wiggins has signed a contract extension with Team Sky which will see him race for the team until the end of April.

Wiggins, 34, is planning to compete in April’s Paris-Roubaix one-day race before switching to the track and his bid to qualify for the Rio 2016 Games.

“Paris-Roubaix is a special race for me and I’m determined to give it another go in Team Sky colours,” said Wiggins.

“After that I can focus fully on preparing for the Rio Olympics .”

Wiggins joined Team Sky in 2010 and two years late became the first British rider to win the Tour de France.

Later in 2012, he added the Olympic time trial title to his accolades, to become the most decorated British Olympian with seven medals, and was then named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Last year, he clinched his first World Championships road title with a thrilling time-trial victory in Ponferrada, Spain.

That success ensured Wiggins has now won Olympic and world titles on both the track and the road.

While Wiggins has recorded victories in the Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine stage races, he is yet to win one of the one-day classics, which mainly take place in the spring.

Paris-Roubaix is a 250km race that is famed for its cobbled sections of road and finish in an open-air velodrome.

“It’s one of the toughest races in the calendar and my aim is to improve on my ninth-place finish last year,” said the four-time Olympic gold medallist.

Team principal Sir Dave Brailsford added: “Rightly he still has big ambitions for the future and everyone at Team Sky will work their hardest to make his final chapter with us a successful one.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Cycling: Track Cycling World Cup: Laura Trott wins Britain’s fourth gold

Olympic champion Laura Trott claimed Great Britain’s fourth gold of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in London with victory in the women’s omnium.

Trott rode tactically in the final race of six disciplines to finish 12 points clear of Belgium’s Jolien D’Hoore, with Netherland’s Kirsten Wild third.

It was the Briton’s second gold medal of the meet following her success in the women’s team pursuit on Friday.

Britain’s total medal haul currently stands at four gold and one bronze.

Trott, who won the individual points race at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, held a 13 point lead over D’Hoore going into the 100-lap race and sat on the wheel of her rival for much of the event.

With five points available for the winner of each of the 10 sprints, the 22-year-old was happy to see her lower-placed opponents hoover up the majority on offer before leaping clear to take sprint nine and secure gold with 10 laps still to go.

Trott made an excellent start to the two-day omnium event, winning the scratch race and individual pursuit to give herself breathing room in the eliminator, time trial and flying lap disciplines.

Great Britain’s Jon Dibben is still to go in the men’s omnium on the final day of the meeting at the Lee Valley VeloPark.

The 22-year-old is sixth in the standings, 29 points off a medal position, with the points race to come.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cycling: Laura Trott beats Marianne Vos to London omnium win

Britain’s Laura Trott decisively saw off the challenge of Marianne Vos to win the omnium at the opening round of the Revolution Series  in London.

Trott got the better of Olympic road race champion Vos as she won all six races that make up the omnium event.

The 22-year-old Wiggle Honda also won the Australian pursuit and scratch race at Lee Valley Velodrome.

The Revolution Series is a UCI event with points available for the UCI World Cup and World Track Championships.

Round two takes place on 22 November at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.

Read more on BBC Sport

Tour of Britain: Cavendish edged by Kittel as Van Baarle wins title

Mark Cavendish lost out by inches to Marcel Kittel in a sprint finish on the final stage of the Tour of Britain, as Dylan van Baarle won the overall race.

Van Baarle took the leader’s yellow jersey on Saturday’s seventh stageand retained his lead after Sunday’s time trial, won by Sir Bradley Wiggins.

The Dutch Garmin-Sharp rider then finished safely in the peloton on the final stage to win by 10 seconds.

Michal Kwiatkowski was second overall and defending champion Wiggins third.

The 2012 Tour de France winner was a further 12 seconds back, having moved up from seventh after the time trial, which was the first of Sunday’s two stages in central London.

An early five-man breakaway formed on the final stage – over 10 laps of the 8.8km circuit used earlier for the time trial – but they were caught with 5.5km left as the sprinters’ teams fought for position ahead of a hectic dash for the line.

It pitted Kittel against Cavendish on Whitehall and just as it looked like the Manxman had edged ahead, the German came back to pip him on the line for yet another win on British and Irish soil in 2014.

It means he has won Giro d’Italia stages in Belfast and Dublin, Tour de France stages in Harrogate and London and Tour of Britain stages in Liverpool and London.

“It’s nice to finish the Tour in the centre of London,” said Cavendish.

“Bradley won this morning and I’d like to have won this afternoon.”

Van Baarle was rewarded for his decisive move in Saturday’s stage to record the biggest win of his career.

“I was expecting top 10. It means a lot,” he said. “I will remember this day my whole life.”

Wiggins was happy with his efforts over the week, ahead of the Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, which begin on 21 September.

Read more on BBC Sport

Tour of Britain: Kwiatkowski wins stage four to take overall lead

Michal Kwiatkowski took the lead of the Tour of Britain after powering to victory on stage four in Bristol.

The Pole won the sprint for the line at the end of the 184.6km stage from Worcester to take the yellow jersey.

The Omega Pharma-Quick-Step rider now leads the overall standings by three seconds from stage-three winner Edoardo Zardini of Bardiani CSF.

Sir Bradley Wiggins has dropped back another place and is now in sixth overall, 27 seconds behind the Pole.

Wiggins feels the result has left him with too much ground to make up if he wants to retain his crown.

“I’m still up there but on paper first place has gone now,” he told ITV. “I can’t see myself getting 27 seconds on Kwiatkowski, but the podium is only 12 seconds away.”

Holland’s Albert Timmer (Giant-Shimano) was second after being prominent throughout the stage and Belgium’s Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing) third.

The time bonus which accompanied the win saw Kwiatkowski move narrowly ahead of Italy’s Zardini, with Teuns now up to third.

Ireland’s Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) sits fourth, 14 seconds behind ahead of Thursday’s fifth stage in Devon.

Defending Wiggins finished in the bunch behind Team Sky colleague Ben Swift, who was six seconds behind Kwiatkowski in seventh.

Read more on BBC Sport


Tour of Britain: Zardini takes overall lead after stage-three win

Italy’s Edoardo Zardini timed his late break to perfection to win a summit finish at the end of the 179.9km third stage of the Tour of Britain in Wales.

Zardini pulled clear as the peloton tackled the ascent of The Tumble on the outskirts of Abergavenny to win by nine seconds from Michal Kwiatkowski.

The Bardiani-CSF rider’s victory takes him top of the general classification, 13 seconds clear of Kwiatkowski.

Defending champion Bradley Wiggins came home in fifth place, 14 seconds down.

The Team Sky rider is 24 seconds adrift of Zardini in the overall standings with five stages remaining.

Ireland’s Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) finished third on the stage out of Newtown and is also third in the GC, four seconds behind Polish Omega Pharma – Quick-Step rider Kwiatkowski.

Roche briefly moved ahead of Zardini as the pair battled at the front on the final climb but the Irishman had no response when the 24-year-old Italian kicked again to win in a time of 4 hours 35 minutes 2 seconds.

“It’s a fantastic day for me and the team,” Zardini told Eurosport. “I attacked at the bottom of the climb and finished strong at the end.

“The Tour of Britain has started in the best way. This is the most important result of my career. I am really happy.”

Read more on BBC Sport

Tour of Britain: Mark Renshaw leads after winning stage two

Australia’s Mark Renshaw leads the Tour of Britain after winning stage two’s sprint finish in Llandudno.

The Omega Pharma – Quick-Step rider hit the front in the final 100m of the 200km race to pip Britain’s Ben Swift with Ireland’s Sam Bennett in third.

Marcel Kittel, who won stage one, found the 3km ascent of the Great Orme hill, 8km from the finish, too tough and he lost the leader’s yellow jersey.

Defending champion Sir Bradley Wiggins finished safely in the peloton.

Wiggins came to the front of the main bunch in the final kilometre, in an attempt to lead-out Team Sky team-mate Swift for the stage win but the Rotherham sprinter was unable to hold off Renshaw.

It was a well-worked victory from the Omega team after their riders Michal Kwiatkowski and Niki Terpstra attacked separately on the descent of the Orme in an effort to stretch their rivals.

Their efforts worked as Renshaw, who is usually trying to deliver Mark Cavendish to the line, sprinted clear on the Llandudno promenade. Cavendish, who was still feeling the effects of a crash on stage one, was not involved in the sprint.

Read more on BBC Sport


UCI Mountain Bike Championships: Great Britain Dominates Downhill

Manon Carpenter and Gee Atherton Win as Team GB grabbed 5 out of the 6 DHI Elite medals in contention

The good weather that has blessed these Championships continued, but the dry conditions made the Downhill track rough and full of loose gravel sections, with many riders flatting or crashing.

American Jill Kintner set the first sub-four minute time for the women, which would be good enough for fifth. Kintner’s time stood up through one rider before Tahnee Seagrave (Great Britain) knocked four seconds off it to take the Hot Seat. Seagrave held the lead until Manon Carpenter came down second from last and took the lead below 3:50. However, the defending champion, Rachel Atherton (Great Britain) was setting new fast times at each split and looked to be on her way to another win, until a mistake near the bottom of the course cost her the win by a mere 88-thousandths of a second.

“I didn’t expect this win,” said Carpenter, “I was struggling to go fast on this track. But I wanted to do my best, and I expected it to be a close race. I had an almost perfect run, so I knew that I had done the best that I could. It was really close, and I had resigned myself to being second, even as Rachel was crossing the line, so it’s pretty bonkers to win.”

The men’s race saw a steady drop in the leading time as rider after rider chipped away at the top time. Australian Bryn Atkinson was the first to go under 3:30, but faster riders were coming. Brook MacDonald (New Zealand), with 15 riders to go, set a time that stood until American Neko Mulally came through nearly a second faster, despite having to ride the entire course with no chain after his broke in the start house. Mulally finished fourth, but surely would have been in the medals without his mechanical problems.

Former champions Sam Hill (Australia) and Danny Hart (Great Britain) crashed, as did defending champion Greg Minnaar (South Africa), who also flatted. Gee Atherton, riding fourth from last, managed to avoid the mistakes made by others to knocked 2.2 seconds off the leading time.

Second from last, Troy Brosnan (Australia) managed to finish within 0.566 seconds of Atherton, leaving Josh Bryceland (Great Britain), the World Cup champion, as the only rider who could possibly beat Atherton. Bryceland was faster at both time splits, but mistimed a landing on the final jump, fracturing his foot but, remarkably, still managing to cross the finish line second to Atherton.

“World championships is always a special race, and everyone steps their game up,” commented Atherton. “You can’t afford to do a steady and smooth run, you have to keep pushing faster and faster. My run was okay, it was messy, there were some mistakes, but I think it’s that kind of track. I wasn’t pleased with the run, but I made it to the bottom, and that’s all you can ask for. I wasn’t confident, but you couldn’t tell until the other riders came down. Sure enough, it was fast enough to take the win.”

Bryceland was eventually brought to hospital to undergo surgery.

France topped the nations table with 12 medals, followed by Switzerland (8) and Great Britain (7).

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Tour of Britain: Kittel wins Stage 1

Marcel Kittel wins Stage 1 with a trademark sprint kick

Marcel Kittel emerged triumphant from a thrilling sprint finish to the first stage of the Tour of Britain on Sunday, with Mark Cavendish crossing the line in third place.

Germany’s Kittel (Giant-Shimano) completed the Liverpool stage in two hours, 16 minutes and 35 seconds, just ahead of second-placed Italian Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF) and Briton Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), who is still recovering from shoulder surgery following his Tour de France-ending crash.

American Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) was fourth, with another home favourite in Ben Swift coming fifth.

Swift’s compatriot, Team Sky colleague and defending champion Sir Bradley Wiggins, was safely within the peloton, finishing 74th.

Read More on ITV Sport