Armitstead Heads for RideLondon

RideLondonLizzie Armitstead, who took gold at the Commonwealth Games road race in Glasgow, is set for an appearance at this weekend’s Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix (Saturday August 9). She joins her Team England colleagues Laura Trott and Hannah Barnes on the start list for the race, which will be broadcast live on BBC2, and will also be competing against reigning world and Olympic champion Marianne Vos.


The domestic contingent will also be strongly represented, with British Circuit Race champion and Matrix Fitness GP Series winner Eileen Roe and Women’s Road Series champion Nicola Juniper set to compete. Multiple Paralympic gold medallist Dame Sarah Storey will lead her Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team which will also include seventh place finisher in the Commonwealth Games road race and track world champion Katie Archibald, plus Lauren Creamer who won the Women’s Tour of Staffordshire at the weekend, the final round of the domestic Women’s Road Series.


Despite the no-show at RideLondon by Mark Cavendish following his Tour de France crash, the weekend will see many of the world’s elite male cyclists taking to the streets. Australian Mark Renshaw, Chris Sutton and Ben Swift are amongst those confirmed.


The Prudential RideLondon event, to give it it’s full name, is an annual two-day festival of cycling developed by the Mayor of London and his agencies as part of the legacy of the London 2012 Games.


Full details of RideLondon at



Johansson Wins Women’s Tour of Britain Stage 1

Women’s Tour of BritainThe first stage of the inaugural Women’s Tour of Britain ended in a sprint finish with Sweden’s Emma Johansson claiming a narrow victory over Olympic champion Marianne Vos and GB’s Hannah Barnes in a time of 2hr 18’ 29”. Despite looking to have a strong enough lead at the 500m mark GB’s Lizzie Armitstead lost her legs to the group by starting her sprint too early and finished back in eighth. GB Team Pursuit Olympic Gold Medallists Dani King and Laura Trott finished down in 29th and 38th respectively.


Commenting on the judgement that cost her the win Armitstead said: ‘Coming around that bottom corner there were massive crowds and as a British girl I got over-excited and went for it. I started far too early, Emma Johansson was on my wheel and she won, so I gave her the perfect lead-out basically… I’m confident that I’m in sprinting shape. I just wasn’t clever enough…’ Despite taking eighth on the day, Armitstead actually sits at sixth in the General Classifications having picked up a two seconds bonus in a YodelDirect Sprint; she was also awarded the Best British Jersey.


The Women’s Tour of Britain – more correctly called The Friends Life Women’s Tour – sees a total of 96 elite riders, representing 11 of the top 14 professional women’s teams, battle it out in Britain across five days, ending on Sunday May 11 in Bury St Edmunds. Daily TV highlights in the UK are on ITV4 at 8pm; for further information on the Women’s Tour of Britain see



UCI Road World Championships Longlist Announced

UCI Road World Championships Longlist Announced2012/13 Tour de France winners Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome have been named in the GB longlist of 11 for the UCI Road World Championships, which begins September 22 in Toscana, Italy. Froome is set to lead the Men’s Elite Road team with Wiggins confirmed for the Time Trial, a solid choice given his Olympic gold in the event. Lizzie Armitstead and Lucy Garner – the Junior Road World Champion making her senior debut – are confirmed for the Women’s Road Race with Emma Pooley, the 2010 World Champion, set for the Time Trial.


Performance Manager Shane Sutton said of the squad selection: ‘I think the selection of the elite teams speak for themselves, we’ve got Olympic medallists, Tour de France winners and former world champions all in the mix and I think we could do well across the board there.’ Commenting on the inclusion of Adam and Simon Yates (both with solid performances at the Tour de l’Avenir; Simon taking two stages and Adam second overall) in the U23 Men’s Road Race Sutton added: ‘The Yates brothers have put some really impressive rides in on the road this season so I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do…’


The final selections for the UCI Road World Championships is expected to be announced shortly, but currently the longlists reads:


Men’s Elite Road Race – 8 places available: Mark Cavendish, Steve Cummings, Alex Dowsett, Josh Edmondson, Andy Fenn, Chris Froome, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas, Jon Tiernan Locke, Bradley Wiggins


Men’s Elite Time Trial: Alex Dowsett, Bradley Wiggins


Women’s Elite Road Race – 6 places available: Lizzie Armitstead, Katie Colclough, Nikki Harris, Lucy Garner, Sharon Laws, Emma Pooley


Women’s Elite Time Trial: Emma Pooley


U23 Men’s Road Race – 6 places available: Jon Dibben, Owain Doull, Tom Moses, Joe Perrett, Alex Peters, Alistair Slater, Adam Yates, Simon Yates


U23 Men’s Time Trial: Joe Perrett


Junior Men’s Road Race: Scott Davies, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Matt Gibson, James Knox


Junior Men’s Time Trial: Matt Gibson


Junior Women’s Road Race: Anna Christian, Bethany Hayward


For a full schedule of the UCI Road World Championships see



Mark Cavendish Wins Maiden Road Race Title

Mark Cavendish Wins Maiden Road Race Title Mark Cavendish has claimed his first National Road Race Championship in typical sprint finish in front of an ecstatic crowd in Glasgow. Riding for Omega Pharma-Quickstep, Cavendish entered the final straight in the company of Ian Stannard (miraculously recovered from a puncture in the penultimate lap), David Millar and Peter Kennaugh but delivered his trademark sprint to outclass the rest across the 184.6km course. Stannard (Team Sky) had to settle for second and Garmin-Sharp’s Millar third, with Kennaugh dropping from the podium.


Cav’s website now declares: ‘Fastest man on two wheels. FACT.’


In the Women’s National Road Race Championships Lizzie Armitstead (riding for Dolmans-Boels) held off the challenge of Olympic team pursuit champions Laura Trott and Dani King to retain the title she has held since 2011.



Nicole Cooke Retires (and Damns Drugs Cheats)

Nicole Cooke Retires and condemns Lance Armstrong and doping Nicole Cooke, the Beijing Road Race Olympic champion who’s public spats with rival Lizzie Armitstead often threatened to overshadow her great achievements, has used he retirement (at the age of 29) to blast the dark side of the sport. Describing her life in the sport as ‘more “fantastic” than any soap opera’ she said that her time had given witness to: ‘…the greatest ever sporting fraud, about which we get new and wider revelations each day.’


Despite saying ‘I have many, many happy memories over what has been my life’s work since I was 12’, she continued to condemn the widespread culture of doping, saying that she had been pressurised to cheat (though never yielded), recalling, ‘I have had days where temptation to start onto the slippery slope was brought in front of me. (In one race) I was asked what “medicines” I would like to take to help me, and was reminded that the team had certain expectations of me during the race and I was not living up to them with my performance over the last couple of stages.’ She also stated that she felt that, at times, he had been ‘robbed’ of wins by drug cheats.


On the subject of Lance Armstrong Cooke was particularly forthright: ‘When Lance “cries” on Oprah later this week and she passes him a tissue, spare a thought for all of those genuine people who walked away with no reward – just shattered dreams. Each one of them is worth a thousand Lances.’


Despite the obvious frustration, bordering on anger, in her retirement statement it is vital to remember the huge success that Cooke has enjoyed. In addition to her gold in Beijing (the 200th won by GB in the modern Olympics), the Swansea-born star took first at the British National Road Race Championships no fewer than nine times and has enjoyed podium places at many of the sport’s most significant events and races. She has always actively championed women’s participation in the sport (and often harshly criticized it when it failed to live up to her expectations). The latter fact reflected in British Cycling president Brian Cookson’s comment on news of her retirement, saying simply ‘…There is no doubt that Nicole has been a pioneering force in women’s cycling for the past decade.’



Lizzie Armistead: Superstar

Lizzie Armistead BBC SuperstarsOlympic Silver Medalist Lizzie Armistead is amongst a select field lining up for a very different kind of challenge this Christmas, as the BBC announce plans for a one-off ‘Superstars’ special. The cult TV show, first broadcast in 1973 – some 15 years before Armistead was even born, ran until the mid-80s and pitted various sporting stars against each other in a series of challenges which culminated in the notorious ‘gym test’ (‘behold Brian Jack’s squat-thrusts…’)


Aside from the gym test, Armistead – the first to score a medal for Britain at this summer’s Games – will compete in seven other events comprising: 100m, 800m, javelin, archery, kayak, 50m swim and, what should be a stand-out round, cycling hill climb. Her fellow competitors, all Olympic Medalists, include: Jade Jones (taekwondo), the Brownlee brothers (triathlon) and the mighty Mo Farah.


Date of broadcast has yet to be announced; Cyclo will keep you posted, but while you wait check out the original theme tune below – you’ll be humming it all day.




UCI Moves Towards Equality?

Big things – or at the very least small steps towards big things – could emerge from today’s Annual Congress of the International Cycling Union (UCI). Earlier this week their Management Committee unanimously approved plans to introduce measures that would heighten the profile of women’s cycling at a professional level, promising to ‘…increase (its) appeal and visibility.’


GB’s Lizzie Armitstead and Emma Pooley have both long been vocal about inequalities and even Bradley Wiggins has entered the fray, saying: ‘They’re the forgotten ones in this sport. They have just as much success as we do.’ Now the UCI has given a commitment to have ‘at least one’ woman on each of its commissions and sub-committees (a labyrinthine 18) and to begin to draw women’s track cycling in line with men’s. As a first stab at this women’s Team Pursuit will, from next year, feature four – instead of the current three – riders, tackling 4km events instead of 3km. Further modifications along these lines are expected to result from the UCI Annual Congress; Cyclo will keep you posted…



Armistead Out of Road Race

A blow to GB’s chances ahead of this Saturday’s Women’s Road Race at the World Championships in the Netherlands with news that Lizzie Armistead has withdrawn due to illness. Armistead, who won GB’s first medal at the London Olympics, taking silver at a rain-soaked Road Race, was set to lead the six-woman squad on the 129km course with that honour likely now to go to Emma Pooley who finished fourth in Tuesday’s Time Trial. The decision not to call up a squad replacement for Armistead will leave the GB team two members down from the maximum of seven as only six had initially been selected. The GB squad will now comprise Emma Pooley, Katie Colclough, Nicole Cooke, Sharon Laws and Nikki Harris.