United Arab Emirates, 17 February 2023 – Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the organisers of the UAE Tour, are pleased to announce four more top riders expected to be among the protagonists in the fifth edition of the UAE Tour, taking place from 20-26 February.
Third in the GC in 2022, Pello Bilbao (Bahrain – Victorious) returns to target Jebel Jais and Jebel Hafeet summit finishes, whilst Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan Team), Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jayco Alula) and Elia Viviani (INEOS Grenadiers) are ready to battle it out for the the sprint crown.
Mark Cavendish, who joined Astana Qazaqstan Team from Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team this season, is the reigning British champion and former world champion (2011), has a glittering history in the UAE, having taken seven victories in his five previous visits. His most recent win at the race was in 2022 UAE Tour, when he edged out Jasper Philipsen on the Abu Dhabi Breakwater to win Stage 2. With an impressive total of 34 Tour de France stage wins, Cavendish shares the record of all-time stage wins with cycling legend Eddy Merckx.
Pello Bilbao (Bahrain – Victorious) returns to the UAE 12 months after securing third place in the General Classification. Bilbao’s podium finish resulted from a great performance on the Jebel Hafeet climb, where claimed the third spot behind eventual race winner Tadej Pogačar and runner-up Adam Yates. A two-time stage winner at the Giro d’Italia, Bilbao kicked off his palmares this season by winning Stage 3 of the Santos Tour Down Under, and is now ready to show his form at the fifth edition of the UAE Tour.
Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jayco Alula) is just one of the many top sprinters expected to shine during the four stages which look suited to sprinters of this year’s race. The Dutchman is a five-time stage winner of the Tour de France (between 2017 to 2022), and has already had success at the UAE Tour, having won Stage 4 in 2020. This year he already has a win, taking Stage 1 of the Saudi Tour, and will now be looking for more success in the one and only UCI WorldTour race in the Middle East.
Elia Viviani (INEOS Grenadiers) will also be on the hunt for stage wins at this year’s race. The Italian first rode the UAE Tour in 2019, taking a stage victory and the sprinter’s green jersey as part of Deceuninck – Quick Step . Winner of the 2018 Dubai Tour, five stages at the Giro d’Italia, one stage at the Tour de France, and Olympic Champion in the omnium at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Viviani heads to the UAE to target wins in stages 1,4,5 and 6.
Tour of Britain 2023 to finish in Wales as new long term agreement unveiled.
The Tour of Britain organisers Sweetspot have signed a long term deal with the Welsh Government to bring the UK’s biggest professional cycle race to Wales over the next four years.
The agreement, which began with the 2022 Women’s Tour stage between Wrexham and Welshpool in June, will secure future visits of both races to the principality. The venue for the 2023 finish is yet to be disclosed but is scheduled for Sunday 10 September 2023. It will be the 16th of the modern race that will have taken place in Wales since its return to the calendar in 2004. A further five stages of the Women’s Tour have also been hosted by Welsh regions since the race’s inaugural 2014 edition.
Welsh Government Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming the Tour of Britain back again next year – and to our longer-term partnership with the Tour. Wales’ credentials for hosting cycling events is now well-established. The Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour are the perfect showcase for our landscape and the welcome we provide to the competitors and spectators and we look forward to working with our Local Authority partners as the Tour of Britain continues to reach all points of Wales.”
Following the hosting of the final stage of the 2023 Tour of Britain, the agreement will see the 2024 Women’s Tour start in Wales for the first time ever. In 2025 it will be the turn of the men’s Tour of Britain to start in Wales for the first time since 2018, and then 2026 will see the Women’s Tour’s overall finish in Wales for the first time in seven years.
Anne Adams-King, Welsh Cycling CEO, said:“It’s great news that the Tour of Britain will visit Wales again for 2023 and that the race and the Women’s Tour have secured a longer-term partnership with Welsh Government. We hope this news will help boost the popularity of cycling in Wales and help inspire the younger generation to take up their bikes.”
Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour race director, said:“We are delighted to be extending our partnership with the Welsh Government and to be bringing the final stage of the 2023 Tour of Britain to Wales.
“The long-term support of the Welsh Government is invaluable in allowing us to plan for future stages of the races in Wales. Together we are working to reach as many parts of Wales as possible with both races over the next few years in order to give as many fans as possible the chance to see the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour.”
Since 2004 the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour of together have visited 18 of the 22 local authority regions in the country covering almost 1800 miles (3,000 kilometres) of racing in Wales, visiting the cities of Cardiff, Newport, Swansea, and Wrexham, as well as the Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons National Parks.
According to independent reports by the Frontline agency the benefit to the Welsh economy has been in the tens of millions of pounds. The race has also enabled the showcase of both community projects and Wales’ rich portfolio of tourist attractions, from the revamped Carmarthenshire velodrome and the national closed road cycle circuit at Pembrey County Park in Carmarthenshire, to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales and the Great Orme.
Tour of Britain organisers hope to build on the support from the hundreds of thousands of road-side fans and millions more on TV. Since 2012, 12 stages of the men’s Tour of Britain and two stages of Women’s Tour in Wales have been broadcast live, reaching millions of viewers in the UK and around the world. Every stage held in Wales has also enjoyed free-to-air highlights broadcast in Britain.
Further details of the final stage of the Tour of Britain 2023 will be announced in the New Year, with more information on the host venues and routes for the Welsh stages of future editions of both races to be unveiled in due course
Mende, Saturday, July 16th – Michael Matthews won again at the Tour de France five years after the last time. Second at Longwy and Lausanne, he became the second Australian to win a stage after Simon Clarke on stage 5 and the second rider from Team BikeExchange-Jayco to win a stage after Dylan Groenewegen on stage 3. The sprinter from Canberra rode as an attacker to finish solo after the Côte de la Croix-Neuve in Mende while Alberto Bettiol and Thibaut Pinot rounded out the podium.
Young rider leader Pogacar shattered rivals plans with a well crafted ride on the cobbles of Northern France while veteran Australian Simon Clarke took a maiden Tour de France stage victory at age 35.
Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, Wednesday, July 6th – Australia’s Simon Clarke claimed his maiden Tour de France stage victory as the early breakaway survived to the line. The Israel-Premier Tech veteran, aged 35, pipped Taco van der Hoorn on the line while Edvald Boasson Hagen rounded out the podium. Wout van Aert who crashed before the cobbled sector and waited for Jonas took third spot.
The yellow jersey battle took a new twist with a big re-jig at the top of the standings. While Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) who had punctured retained the yellow jersey by a margin of 13 seconds over breakaway member Neilson Powless a late attack by Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) in the company of Jasper Stuyven (Trek – Segafredo) saw the UAE rider move into third and extend the gap to rivals such as Vingegaard.
How it happened
Edvald Boasson Hagen (TotalEnergies), Magnus Cort and Neilson Powless (EF Education-Easypost), Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) and Alexis Gougeard (B&B Hotels-KTM) entered the second cobbled sector with an advantage of 3’25”.
Clarke described what it meant to win his first Tour de France stage: “I mean, after winter I had, I had no team and Israel-Premier Tech rang me up. I was given that chance… Today is the reality check that everything can happen if you take the opportunity. The first few days of the Tour, I was looking after the team. But this morning, the team director said: ‘Clarkey, today is a breakaway day!’ The stages I won at La Vuelta and the pink jersey I had at the Giro all came in the first week of the race. So I thought today was maybe the day… But I still can’t believe it. I passed Taco less than 50 meters to go. I gave my bike the biggest throw I could. My stages at La Vuelta came in similar finishes. I chose to sit back and hope for the other guys to crack before. I really had to chase Edvald down. We’ve been sprinting since the last corner. I went as hard as I could until the line. I moved to Europe for racing when I was 16 and I’ll turn 36 on the second rest day of the Tour, so after 20 years, now the dream comes true. Hi to everyone in Australia and thanks for the support through all those years!”
PRO-NOCTIS and WIV SUNGOD crowned sportsbreaks.com Tour Series Champions in Manchester
Report compiled using material supplied by https://tourseries.co.uk/
Three weeks of intense racing saw Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen and Wiv SunGod crowned Sportsbreaks.com Tour Series champions in Manchester city centre on Tuesday night
For the men of Wiv SunGod it was a third series title, following on from wins in 2018 and 2019, while for the Pro-Noctis team of British circuit race champion Jo Tindley it was a first crown, having been narrowly denied in the final event in 2021.
Round 7 (Final) Women’s Event
Second place on the night behind Team Boompods ensured the inaugural title for Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen, a comfortable victory having finished in the top two positions at all seven rounds and held the lead from round one in Guisborough.
Speaking afterwards Bexy Dew said; “Morale has been really high throughout. We worked really well together and have analysed and talked about each round afterwards and how we can improve as a team. I think that’s what’s made us stronger each round, and we finished on a high today.
“I’m not sure having the jerseys all series added to the pressure. I think it added to the enjoyment and the excitement of the whole thing.”
In the women’s race there was a second win of the series for 17-year-old Emma Jeffers (Jadan – Vive Le Velo), who sprinted home on Deansgate ahead of Sammie Stuart (Team LDN – Brother UK) and Lucy Harris (Team Boompods).
Stuart led through the final corner but on the 150-metre run to the line Jeffers came past to cross the line arms aloft and also take the fastest lap.
“This is the one I was aiming for, and I managed to pull it off,” said Jeffers.
“Pro-Noctis had three girls in the front, and then a Boompods girl attacked. Then Sammie [Stuart] counter attacked coming into the second to last corner. I just held onto Sammie’s wheel and managed to get around her on that last straight and hold it.”
Having taken the overall Sportsbreaks.com Tour Series title with her Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen team, Tindley also added the Freewheel.co.uk Sprints competition, defending a jersey that she also took in 2021.
Wiv SunGod, who also have led the series since the opening event, sealed their title in style with Matt Bostock winning his second round of 2022 by 11.5 seconds at the head of a team 1-2-3.
Stockport-based Bostock broke away mid-race, countering after team-mate Ollie Wood’s solo move had been captured, helping seal the Freewheel.co.uk Sprints competition.
“It was the perfect way to finish, it doesn’t get much better than winning solo as well” said Bostock. “I think as a team we just ripped it up, couldn’t have been any better.
“The atmosphere was amazing, I wish I’d taken it in a bit more, but I was seeing double and my legs were screaming. It was a bit of a blur but the noise and the crowd was just mega.”
At the finish, behind Bostock, Wood and then Matt Gibson led in a 10-rider group, with Harry and Charlie Tanfield in fourth and fifth for Ribble Weldtite, who finished as runners up, four points back from Wiv SunGod, with Wales Racing Academy in third overall.
“The individual results don’t matter as much,” continued Bostock. “Because the team prize is the main thing. But it’s really good to get your hands in the air and I think we’ve won maybe four rounds out of the seven, so it couldn’t be much better.
“It speaks volumes that we’ve had three different winners, and we’ve basically shared them out so that says a lot about how strong of a team we’ve got. It’s almost a shame we couldn’t give everyone a win, because I think everyone’s deserved one. I don’t think we’ve had one bad night.”
BINIAM GIRMAY out sprinted Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix to become the first Eritrean to take a stage at a Giro. In a cruel twist of fate the 22 year old Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux rider was immediately sidelined after taking a cork in the eye from the celebratory Prosecco.
Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay made the best of his duel with Mathieu van der Poel to become the first Eritrean stage winner at the Giro d’Italia, one and half months after he made history in the northern classics, winning Gent-Wevelgem. It was a very competitive stage, heading to Michele Scarponi’s native town of Jesi. Italy’s Vincenzo Albanese rounded off the podium and Juan Pedro Lopez retained the Maglia Rosa.
Biniam Girmay had to skip the post-podium press conference to go to hospital after an incident on stage, however straight after the finish he said: “I started the Giro with the desire to win a stage. Everyone from the team pulled for me today, even the GC riders, Domenico Pozzovivo was amazing at the end. At 600m to go, he said: ‘come’. He pushed me to go and win. I realize I’m making history but it’s thanks to my team and my family. I’m really grateful to them.”
Juan Pedro Lopez, who pulled on the maglia rosa for the eight straight day said in the press conference: “When we passed Filottrano, I started to cry. I didn’t get to know Michele Scarponi but I know his family and there were a lot of emotions. I was lucky enough to meet Biniam Girmay three or four years ago. We’ve maintained a good relationship since then. We also keep in touch via social media. He makes history today. Moreover, he’s a very humble and amicable person. As for myself, I enjoy every day and every kilometre in the Maglia Rosa. I don’t know for how much longer but tomorrow I’m sure I’ll enjoy again.”
Napoli (Procida Capitale Italiana della Cultura), 14 May 2022. Thomas de Gendt invaded Naples today as part of a four man group to seal a second win at a Giro d’Italia. This one on the shores of the bay of Naples could not be much more different from the one he claimed ten years on Stage 20 of the 2012 edition at Passo dello Stelvio.
STAGE RESULTS 1 – Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) – 153 km in 3h32’53’’, average speed 43.122 km/h 2 – Davide Gabburo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) s.t. 3 – Jorge Arcas Peña (Movistar Team) s.t.
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION 1 – Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Trek-Segafredo) 2 – Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 38″ 3 – Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) at 58”
The Lungomare Caracciolo in Napoli, with an impressive crowd on a summer-like day, welcomed the second success in the Corsa Rosa, 10 years after the first one, by Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal). The Belgian rider won the sprint between four of the 21 riders who were part of the breakaway that started at the beginning of the stage, pushed on by Mathieu van der Poel.
De Gendt, in the company of Davide Gabburo, Jorge Arcas Peña and his team-mate Harm Vanhoucke, anticipated the other fugitives by attacking 43km from the finish and resisting the return in the final of van der Poel himself, who tried in vain to take the lead in the company of Mauro Schmid and Biniam Girmay.
Among the escapees, Guillaume Martin moved up on GC and now stands in fourth place 1’06” behind the Maglia Rosa Juan Pedro Lopez, who defended the lead despite numerous attacks launched in the final kilometres by Lennard Kämna.
The stage winner, Thomas De Gendt, said in the press conference: “I won races in previous years but I’ve felt it’s become harder and harder to be in the good breakaway. I only managed to do it for the third time this year. There are always good riders up there. Today, again, it was the case with Mathieu van der Poel and Biniam Grmay. We also knew that everyone would look at them; normally everyone looks at me. We took advantage of that. I’ve had bad luck and bad shape in the last two years. Today I proved that I’m still able to win races. It was a really nice circuit today – something like a championship but I can only talk about the Belgian championship because I’ve never won the Europeans or the Worlds. I think it’s nice to do it in a Grand Tour. It felt like a classic today. It made for an attractive racing, not exactly what people expected.”
Tomorrow sees the second uphill finish of this Giro d’Italia at the top of the Blockhaus.
10 May 2022: Stage 4 (172km) Etna-Nicolosi (Rif. Sapienza).
Europe’s largest volcano was the scene of a titanic duel between Lennard Kämna of BORA – hansgrohe and Juan Pedro López of Trek – Segafredo over the last few kilometres of a stage which saw a break hold off the peloton. It was Kamna who took the stage honours while Lopez, whose bike-handling failed him on the final turn, took enough time to become the new Maglia Rosa.
How it happened:
Faced with the epic ascent of Mount Etna at the conclusion of the day’s stage the peloton took a relaxed approach when 14 men broke away early leaving themselves with over 160km to go. The 14 breakaway members comprised:
Valerio Conti (Astana Qazaqstan), Lennard Kämna (Bora-hansgrohe), Davide Villella, Rémy Rochas (Cofidis), Rein Taaramae (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma), Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal), Mauri Vansevenant (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo), Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Fenix), Diego Andrés Camargo (EF Education-EasyPost), Erik Fetter (Eolo-Kometa), Alexander Cataford (Israel-PremierTech) and Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroën).
The break took advantage of the peloton’s apathy and pulled out a 8’10” gap.
With 30km to go, and still enjoying a 6′ gap, the unity of the break ended with Oldani making a bold bid for glory. It looked solid too. With 12km to go he had a lead of 1’03”. Then Lopez attacked.
The Spanish rider caught and passed Oldani within 2km and things began to look exciting not just at a Stage level on for the GC.
With 8km t0 go Kämna made an appearance at the front of a small group with Vansevenant and Moniquet that represented the last of the break. His pace was too high though and at 6.5km to go he was riding solo in pursuit of Lopez. the peloton was now clawing back time and was 4’20” adrift.
There was another shift in positions behind with Taaramae accelerating to become third man on the road. With 2.5km to go Kämna had caught Lopez and the two were spotted in conversation. Whether it was something to do with how they intended to divide up the spoils it seemed to not have been resolved as the two were in a desperate duel coming into the final bend at 200m with Lopez on Kämna‘s wheel.
All became moot for the Stage win as Lopez made a mess of the turn and immediately lost 5 meters on the German who came across the line to take a first Giro stage win, and the sixth win of his career.
Lopez was visibly annoyed at the outcome and even in the interviews had to be reminded he was the new Maglia Rosa. He had started the day in 47th spot at 1’12” but with the peloton still adrift and arriving 2’37” later he now had 39″ over Kämna but 1’42” over Simon Yates and 2’06” back to Richard Carapaz and Romain Bardet.
Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo): “I worked hard all day to take the Maglia Rosa. I attacked in the toughest part of the climb but Kämna was able to come back at -3. I tried to fight for the victory but it was really difficult to win. I’m really happy to have the Maglia Rosa, I don’t know how long I’ll keep it but I’ll enjoy it“.
Lennard Kämna (Bora-hansgrohe): “It was a very hard day, especially the final climb. I thought it was over when Lopez was marked at 30″. When I caught him it was probably a tacit deal, stage to me and Maglia Rosa to him. I’m happy to have won a stage, it takes a lot of pressure off the team too“.
Wiv SunGod and Pro-Noctis take the honours at the opening round of Sportsbreaks.com Tour Series in Guisborough.
Round 1 Women’s Event
Pro – Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen also produced a fine start in Guisborough as British circuit race champion Jo Tindley and Lucy Ellmore finished second and third in the women’s race.
Tindley and eventual individual winner Sophie Lewis (CAMS – Basso) also broke away in the early laps, before Ellmore produced a fine effort to bridge across to the leaders.
Despite leading out the sprint, Tindley could only place second here for the second year running, as promising track talent Lewis pipped her to the line. Behind, Sammie Stuart (Team Brother UK – LDN) broke away from the peloton to finish fourth.
Corinne Side was Pro – Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen’s third-ranked finisher in 12th as Rick Lister’s team started strongly in the series once again.
“The first round is always the one that you never really know how it’s going to go,” said Tindley. “You’ve done all this training but you don’t know how everyone else is going and so much could happen within one race. So, it’s really good to get the first one out of the way, we just work for the rest of them really.
“It’s a new circuit for round two [in Guisborough], so I think we will be defending more than anything, and just seeing how it goes. We’ll try to keep an eye on things!”
CAMS – Basso finished second on the day to leave Guisborough with just a one-point deficit in the overall standings, with Team Boompods taking third.
“It’s given me a lot of confidence [going into the next few races],” said Lewis. “It’s nice that we’re in a good place for the rest of the series.
“It was a really good race and I’m really pleased with how it went. I knew that last year about five riders went clear pretty early on, so I knew I had to be up there right from the start. I did feel a bit out numbered but I did what I needed to do.”
After a disastrous start to the series here in 2021, the first men’s race of this year’s event couldn’t have gone any better for Wiv SunGod, as Thomas Mein and Matthew Bostock broke clear on lap one and almost lapped the entire field.
Mein, the reigning British cyclo-cross champion, took his first individual series win ahead of Bostock after the pair delivered an unforgettable victory salute. Impressively, only 0.001s separated the duo across the line, making it the closest-ever finish in series history.
Behind, Matthew Gibson placed fifth in the rain-affected race to seal the team win for Tim Elverson’s squad.
Wales Racing Academy impressed en route to finishing second on the day, ahead of TEKKERZ, TRINITY Racing and Saint Piran.
Although local rider Harry Tanfield led the peloton home in third respectively, defending men’s champions Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling only finished sixth in the team result.
“We went on the first lap and just kept on going,” said Mein. “It was pretty much game over for everyone else when we got away, so that’s a bit of a dream scenario.
“Getting away with team-mates doesn’t happen often, so you’ve just got to make the most of those chances.
“It couldn’t have gone any better to be honest, so now we’ve got to carry on doing that for the rest of the series.”
Sportsbreaks.com Tour Series leaders Wiv SunGod and Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen extended their overall advantage following the Galashiels event on Wednesday (4 May) evening.
Both teams took the all-important team victory on the night in round two as the series visited the Scottish Borders for the first time.
This was a historic night in the 13-year history of the Sportsbreaks.com Tour Series as the women’s race followed the men’s race for the first time.
Sunshine and two super quick races greeted Britain’s best men’s and women’s teams to the centre of Galashiels, with Scottish men’s rugby union head coach Gregor Townsend flagging both races away.
Round 2 Men’s Race
In the opening men’s race it was Wiv SunGod rider Jim Brown who took his first individual win in the Sportsbreaks.com Tour Series. Brown and teammate Matthew Bostock had been at the forefront from the start, driving the pace around the short circuit to stretch the peloton, and drag a select group of riders clear as a crash split the peloton behind.
The evening then turned into a duel between Wiv SunGod and defending champions Ribble Weldtite with the pair of teams taking four of the top five spots. Dividing them was 17-year-old Noah Hobbs of Tekkerz, in fourth, who also took the fastest lap.
“I’m buzzing! Taking the one-two in both rounds is really good and we’d like to continue that if we can,” said Brown (Wiv SunGod).
“We’ve got a good team, you know. We’ve got five really strong riders, so we can just get to the front and make it hard for everyone else.
“In the first five minutes we started putting the hammer down and the race split into a group of about 15. After that there were a lot of moves going, but I managed to slip away in the final and take the win.”
Wiv SunGod now hold a three point lead over the Wales Racing Academy at the top of the standings, whereas in the women’s series Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen have a six point margin over Torelli – Cayman Islands – Scimitar and Team Boompods.
Taking the women’s individual win was Megan Barker (CAMS – Basso), who has won three of the last four races held. Barker however was isolated in the front group dominated by Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen, but did enough to head Emma Jeffers (Jadan – Vive Le Velo) and Jo Tindley (Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen) in the final sprint.
“It was pretty tough for me personally,” said Barker afterwards. “I think we had quite a difficult night as a team, so I ended up quite isolated in that front group with the full Pro – Noctis team attacking me like five times every lap!
“We just had to go for the individual win tonight so I just had to really stick at it, follow the wheels, not touch the wind as much as I could. I kind of was looking at the finish line every lap and figuring where I wanted to step out into the wind [and start my sprint].”
Speaking after defending both the Freewheel.co.uk Sprints jersey and with her Pro-Noctis – Rotor – Redchilli Bikes p/b Heidi Kjeldsen team mates the yellow Freewheel.co.uk leaders’ jerseys, Jo Tindley said;
“It was really interesting actually [to see the men racing first]. They do race differently to us and they are going to be faster but it was interesting to see just how they attacked. They literally strung out on the first lap and how it all formed for through the bunch. So we got a good impression of how it would be for us.
“We were aware that the other teams were going to go out hitting it hard after [round one in Guisborough], so we just waited to see how it played out. It just stayed fast; it was a fast night, it was full on.”
Milton Keynes, 25 April 2022: ŠKODA UK, in partnership with Britain’s greatest ever Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey, has confirmed three new female riders to join the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy, which is now it its fourth year.
Alex Morrice from Guildford, Surrey, Katie-Ann Elliston from Southend-On-Sea, Essex and Maia Forde from Tooting, London, will develop their cycling skills under the mentorship of Britain’s greatest ever Paralympian, Dame Sarah Storey
The three women were selected from 90 applicants who took part in a testing day at the Lee Valley Velo Park at the end of March. The tests at the Lee Valley Velodrome included a series of Wattbike challenges followed by laps of the outdoor closed circuit to assess bike handling skills and straight-line speed.
Dame Sarah Storey, Academy Principal, described how applicants were tested to their limits as part of the process:
“I was so impressed with the level of all the riders taking part, their commitment, and the way they gelled together as a group. The tests were a six second peak power test, a three-minute maximal test then a 12-minute aerobic test, followed by two laps on the outdoor track. The riders all performed very well and gave absolutely everything – that there were so many riders slumped over their bikes at the end is testament to that!
“Congratulations to all the riders that took part in the testing day but ultimately three riders stood out for me and I’m excited to be working closely with Maia, Alex and Katie-Ann this year through the Academy programme.”
Dame Sarah gave her feedback on each of three women:
Alex Morrice (22) from Guildford, Surrey is a Physics and Chemistry student at the University of Bath.
“Alex posted four outstanding test results which far exceeded my expectations for someone who has been cycling for less than a year. Her focus and drive were evident from the moment she walked into the testing day.”
Katie-Ann Elliston (19) from Southend-On-Sea, Essex is a Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation student at the University of Derby and member of Southend Wheelers.
“Katie-Ann was first tested in 2021 and returned to re-apply this year. Her tests significantly improved, and I was incredibly impressed by how she had applied the recommendations made to her last summer. The willingness to learn, improve and progress further radiated from her in every test, and I can’t wait to support her over the coming months.”
Maia Forde (23) from Tooting, London is a Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioner and is a member of the Black Cyclists Network.
“Maia was a joy to meet and test at the event at Lee Valley and although she had only been cycling since last summer it is clear she’s been working hard to bring herself up to speed on everything to do with the sport.
“Her tests were impressive and the combination of her determination and natural talent was very exciting to watch. I am really looking forward to supporting Maia and helping her further develop her skills both on and off the bike.”
The three new riders join three existing Academy riders, Maddi Aldam-Gates, Gwyneth Parry and Olivia French, who were selected for the programme in 2021.