Cycletta New Forest – October 13

Cycletta New ForestCycletta is the UK’s leading series of women-only bike rides, supported by Olympic Gold Medallist Victoria Pendleton, designed for women of all ages and abilities. The Cycletta New Forest, organised by Human Race, launched spectacularly in 2012 and is back again this year to offer a choice of distances – 20, 42 and 82km – all starting at 9am from the glorious grounds of Beaulieu Palace (map here). Minimum age for participation is 12, with all under 16s needing to be accompanied by an adult.


The Cycletta New Forest offers full mechanical and medical assistance,  ‘treat stops’, on-hand ‘Cycletta ride rescue crew’ and advice from Victoria Pendleton and other experts, along with the all-important post-race finishers’ goody bag. On-site entertainment for spectators and children make this a particularly family-friendly affair and those with kids with have energy to burn can enter the ‘Scootathlon @ Cycletta New Forest’, a mini scoot-bike-run fun triathlon for children between the ages of four and eight (£5 entry including a £3 donation to Macmillan, details here).


Cycletta New Forest entry fees are: Novice 20km £28, Classic 42km £38 and Challenge 82km £42 – full details and online entry at



Sport Industry Awards 2013

British Cycling Sport Industry Awards 20132012 was a year of memorable sporting events but even amongst such crowded competition the success of British cycling, both on track and on road, has been rightly reflected in the shortlist for the Sport Industry Awards 2013. Amongst those nominated to go forward for consideration by the main judging panel are three60 Sports Management and the Wasserman Media Group for their management of Victoria Pendleton and Mark Cavendish respectively and BskyB’s Sky Ride 2012 in The Community Programme Award category. Indeed BskyB take a double nod of recognition also being nominated in the Best Sponsorship of a Sport Team or Individual for their support of the GB Cycling Team 2012, whilst Team Sky go up against adidas, Channel 4, Paddy Power, The Wimbledon Championships and Team GB for Sport Brand of the Year.


Perhaps most gratifying of all though is seeing British Cycling nominated for Sport Governing Body of the Year with Chief Executive, Ian Drake, saying: ‘The past year has undoubtedly been the biggest and the best in British Cycling’s history so it is fantastic to hear that we have been nominated for this prestigious award.’ He continued, ‘Cycling is the sport that redefined our national sporting identity last year – we saw the first British winner of the Tour de France and took 16 gold medals home from London 2012 but, equally, we have seen some amazing achievements at the grassroots… On behalf of everyone involved with British Cycling, we are delighted that our hard work at all levels is being recognised by the sports industry.’


British Cycling face competition in the category from: the British Horseracing Authority, the British Olympic Association, England Hockey, RFL (Rugby Football League) and UKA (UK Athletics). All of the results will be announced at the Sport Industry Awards ceremony on May 2.



Knight Riders

Bradley Wiggins Knighted in New Years Honours ListCould this be the least surprising news of the year? Bradley Wiggins – Tour de France Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist, BBC Sports Personality of the Year – has been knighted in the New Year Honours list. Also knighted is Dave Brailsford who, as both Performance Director of British Cycling and head of Team Sky, was largely responsible for masterminding not only Wiggins’ TdF victory, but also the overall success of the London Olympics squad. Paralympic cyclist Sarah Storey, winner of Team GB’s first (and three subsequent) gold medals at London 2012, has been made a dame, whilst the now-retired Victoria Pendleton has been awarded a CBE and Jason Kenny, who won gold medals in both the Team and Individual Sprints, is rewarded with an OBE.


Featured Features Reviews

Cyclo: Best Books

The popularity of cycling in Great Britain is at an all-time high and if you’re looking for some supporting evidence for that, then the heaving bookshop shelves tell the tale more than adequately. If you’re also looking for a stocking-filler for your cycling-loving loved one or just need a good read to distract you from that winter ride that you’d rather put off, then Cyclo brings you our rundown of the very best cycling books. We’ve mixed and matched some brand-new titles with some perennial favourites and oft overlooked hidden treasures. Enjoy…


My Time – Bradley Wiggins Book Review Top Cycling BooksMy Time – Bradley Wiggins


It has, of course been the year of Wiggo, so no better place to start than with the great man’s autobiography, My Time. Proving he can deliver more than 140-character tweets (although largely ‘ghosted’ by cycling journalist William Fotheringham), Wiggins’ renowned dry wit, level-headedness and downright frankness shines through here and whilst his previous book In Pursuit of Glory felt slightly thin on the ground – in part perhaps because it came pre-national treasure status – My Time packs the full punch. Published by Yellow Jersey, ISBN-10: 022409212X, RRP £20.00, Amazon £9.00


Bradley Wiggins: Tour de Force by John Deering - Team Sky Book Review Top Cycling BooksBradley Wiggins: Tour de Force – John Deering 


Naturally no shortage of other books available on Wiggo too as the clammer and crush for a little vicarious success infects all-known journalists. But best amongst them is, in Cyclo’s opinion, Tour de Force by John Deering who, as a regular contributor to Eurosport’s cycling coverage, Procycling and The Official Tour de France Guide, certainly knows his (French) onions. Intertwining biographical detail with a pretty much day-by-day account of the 2012 Tour, Deering’s book works brilliantly for those wanting to learn more about the intricacies of team tactics in general and Team Sky in particular. Read the full Cyclo review herePublished by Birlinn Ltd, ISBN-10: 1780271034, RRP £12.99, Amazon £9.09


The Flying Scotsman – Graeme Obree Book Review Best Cycling BooksThe Flying Scotsman – Graeme Obree


First published back in 2004, Graeme Obree’s autobiography has lost none of its considerable clout with the kind of candidness that often leaves you open-mouthed. Like all great sports biographies/autobiographies the lesson learned is that from terrible beginnings (and, on occasions, presences) great things can still be achieved. Sir Chris Hoy calls Obree ‘a true inspiration’ (and provides the book’s foreword) and it’s almost impossible to disagree. This is a book that deserves to be better known and wider read – we can’t recommend it highly enough. Published by Birlinn Ltd, ISBN-10: 1841583359, RRP £8.99, Amazon £7.99


French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France – Tim Moore Book Review Top Cycling BooksFrench Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France – Tim Moore


Very much on the lighter side of things Moore takes the everyman approach to tackling the toughest ride in the world. As a self-confessed slouch Moore takes to the roads and, indeed, the mountains to test himself against everything that’s thrown at him – his trademark humour and observational wit carries the book and, whilst you may not learn anything particularly new – it at least proves that, once in a while, the hackneyed phrase ‘laugh-out-loud book’ can be more than appropriate. Published by Vintage, ISBN-10: 0099433826, RRP £8.99, Amazon £6.75


Between the Lines – Victoria Pendleton and Donald McRae Book Review Best Cycling BooksBetween the Lines – Victoria Pendleton and Donald McRae


Having just retired from what has often, rightly, been called a glittering career it’s no surprise to find Victoria Pendleton autobiography on the shelves. In fact much of the donkey-work writing duty has fallen to McRae, but as the double-winner of the William Hill award (for Dark Trade and In Black & White) that’s perhaps no bad thing and Pendleton’s story is both engaging and, at times, enlightening. There is turmoil here to be sure, along with a good dash of raw emotion, but the real target audience is those who have followed her career and admire her brilliance rather than those out for revelations or true insight. Published by HarperSport, ISBN-10: 0007327528, RRP £20.00, Amazon £9.99


It’s Not About the Bike – Lance Armstrong Book Review Best Cycling BooksIt’s Not About the Bike – Lance Armstrong


Really? Hell Yes! Okay so we now know that rather than being the greatest ever Tour de France champion Armstrong was, in fact, the greatest ever Tour de France cheat, but revisiting the book with that in mind brings an excellent new dimension, not to mention sense of irony with regards to the title. Whatever Armstrong did wrong (and it would appear to be legion), there is no taking away from him the fight he undertook against the cancer that ravaged his body. In light of recent revelations this book may no longer be held in such high regard, but if you haven’t read it already now would seem a good time… Published by Yellow Jersey, ISBN-10: 0224060872, RRP £8.99, Amazon £6.29


Racing Through the Dark – David Millar Book Review Best Cycling BooksRacing Through the Dark – David Millar


And on the subject of doping… Millar pretty much begins his tale of rise and fall and rise  again with the lines: ‘My name is David Millar. I am a professional cyclist, an Olympic athlete, a Tour de France star, a world champion – and a drugs cheat.’ A powerful start and so in continues, with one of the most painful (and painfully honest) accounts of the pressures of professional cycling ever put to paper. Don’t dismiss this book as an exercise in self-flagellation; no doubt it was part of Millar’s redemptive process, but his honesty to improve and fight the good fight burns on every page. Read the full Cyclo review herePublished by Orion, ISBN-10: 1409120384, RRP £8.99, Amazon £6.29


Road to Valour – Aili and Andres McConnon Book Review Best Cycling BooksRoad to Valour – Aili and Andres McConnon


Or to give it its staggeringly long full title ‘Road to Valour: Gino Bartali: Tour de France Legend and Italy’s Secret World War Two Hero’. The McConnons may be guilty of overly breathy narrative prose, but Bartali’s story of rise from rural poverty to multiple wins at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France pretty much warrants it, especially when considering his sideline as WWII Italian Resistance hero. This is real ‘boy’s own’ stuff, likely to appeal as much to non-cyclists and cyclists. A thriller wrapped up in a sports biography… Read the full Cyclo review herePublished by W&N, ISBN-10: 0297859994, RRP £20.00, Amazon £13.50



Reade for Track in Rio?

Having suffered disappointment in BMX at two successive Olympics, Shanaze Reade has told the BBC that she is considering a return to Track Cycling for the Rio Games, saying that Victoria Pendleton’s decision to retire (having taken Gold for Keirin and Silver for Individual Sprint), ‘leaves the door open’.


The 23-year-old triple BMX World Champion crashed out in Beijing and ended competition in London a lacklustre sixth but has considerable form on the track having won two World Chapionship Team Sprint Golds with Pendleton (2007/2008) and Silver in 2009. Jess Varnish took her place next to Pendleton – when Reade’s focus shifted to BMX in 2010 – but the pair were disqualified for an illegal change-over at the 2012 Games in the semi-final against the Ukraine.


Reade told the BBC, ‘I’ll definitely be in Rio, whether track or BMX or both…’



More Team GB Drama

Drama certainly hasn’t been in short supply at this year’s World Track Cycling Championships in Australia; right from the off bitter rivalries, contentious decisions and the pressure of the looming Olympics have been in evidence. It would have been hard for Hollywood to script a more dramatic route to success for Britain’s Victoria Pendleton who had to more or less scrape herself up off the track in the first best-of-three semi-final heats against arch-rival Anna Meares, with whom she literally clashed. But recover she did, in order to snatch overall victory from the Australian and reclaim the Sprint World Title. With Pendleton set to retire after the 2012 Olympics, it brings her career total to nine World Titles with six for Sprint.


Meanwhile the unstoppable Laura Trott proved, well, unstoppable; taking the Omnium World Title ahead of Australia’s Annette Edmondson. Trott described the win as ‘massive’, hardly an understatement when you consider that since she launched, seemingly from nowhere, just two years ago all six medals the 19 year old has bagged at European and World level have been Gold. Having already been part of the World Title-winning Women’s Team Pursuit squad in Australia, Trott’s 2012 Olympic place is now guaranteed.



Record Start at Track World Championships

Two Gold medals and a world record created something of a fantasy opening for Team GB at the Track World Championships in Australia yesterday (April 4), but there was disappointment too, particularly for Jess Varnish and Victoria Pendleton. The Men’s Team Pursuit squad – Edward Clancy, Steven Burke, Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas – stunned the Oz home crowd by taking top spot in a record time of 3:53.295, with Ben Swift scoring the Brits second Gold in the men’s Scratch race. On the flip side Jess Varnish and Victoria Pendleton only managed a disappointing fourth in the Women’s Team Sprint having been nudged out of the medals by China and Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Chris Hoy, who had been expected to race for Bronze in their opening event, found themselves relegated for a minor infringement regarding illegal changes between riders.


As if proof were really needed that the Championships are likely to continue to be an emotional rollercoaster the latest news from day two (April 5) is that the Women’s Team Pursuit squad of Laura Trott, Danielle King and Joanna Roswell have set a new World Record of 3:16.850 in qualifying, setting them up for the possibility of matching yesterday’s Mens’ success.



Pendleton Takes on Boardman?

In three weeks time Victoria Pendleton will be at the new London velodrome for the Track World Cup, looking for those all important Olympic qualification points. Yesterday, however, she hit the streets of the capital (or more specifically the streets outside of the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge) to be snapped with a bicycle that started immediate rumours that it was part of a new Pendleton bike range. The rumours slowly solidified throughout the day, firstly with a subtle clue when the Halfords Twitter feed read ‘Just at a photo shoot with Victoria Pendlton, launching her new range of bikes,’ then finally when the retailer’s press office confirmed that it was a range that will be: ‘…available to buy online from 22 March and will be on sale in stores from 29 March.’ Okay, so hardly a Tinker, Tailor style thriller, but why can’t these things just get announced?


No other information has been forthcoming on what the range will consist of (mid-range sporty models similar to the Boardman’s launched five years ago, or more feminine commuters like the one pictured), but Cyclo suspects that as the company tweets described her as ‘the gorgeous Victoria Pendleton’, rather than ‘elite athlete Victoria Pendleton’ it is more likely to be the latter. We will keep you posted…