Our regular round-up of the domestic road racing news includes is back, starting with the promising news that competitive cycling has returned to the British Isles and the Women’s Tour is returning this year after all…
Competitive road cycling returns to the British Isles
A landmark was reached in the British Isles last weekend (30-31 May): the first competitive road cycling event since the COVID-19 lockdown was imposed. Taking place in Guernsey – the first place in the British Isles to be declared free of COVID-19, according to reports – the event comprised a 10-mile time trial organised by Guernsey Velo Club. The race featured riders with Commonwealth Games experience, including one of our under-23 riders to watch this year, Sam Culverwell (TRINITY Racing). Read our report here.
Women’s Tour to run in 2020 after all. In virtual form at least…
The Women’s Tour will return this month after all, albeit on a virtual stage. With the backing of long term partners ŠKODA, and thanks to a partnership between RGT Cycling and Women’s Tour organisers SweetSpot, the new new ŠKODA V-SERIES Women’s Tour event will support the charities Breast Cancer Now and Mind.
Taking place between Wednesday 17 and Friday 19 June, riders and teams from across the world will race it out over three stages on the RGT Cycling virtual platform. All the action will be broadcast live and streamed online on a variety of platforms, with racing getting underway at 19:00 BST each evening, featuring some of the world’s leading teams. Go to the Women’s Tour website for all the latest news, including team line-ups.
Final year under-23 Peter Kibble announces retirement
Welshman Peter Kibble has announced his retirement. A young rider with a lot of promise, the final year under-23 Wales Racing Academy rider had described this year as a ‘make or break’ season when we interviewed him earlier this year.
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I know a lot of you would’nt of been expecting to hear this off me. I have made the decision that I no longer want to chase a career in bike racing. It’s not a decision I’ve taken lightly; it’s been at the forefront of my mind for a while now. I’ve gone into a lot more detail into the reasons for my decision in a blog (Link in my bio). I’d like to say a huge thanks to every single person who’s supported me through my years racing; it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Especially @welshcycling who have supported me every step of my cycling journey and have made my experience racing so good. I’m looking to moving onto new challenges and experiences ✌️ The photos posted below are just a few from the highlight reel of my racing memories.
He started his season with a bang with wins in both the Evesham Vale road race and the Betty Pharaoh Memorial. But, as he explains in his blog, these wins elicited relief rather than the sense of elation that a happy bike rider might feel. Ultimately, he has concluded that he no longer possesses “the inner drive/obsession that I previously had to chase the ultimate goal of becoming a pro bike rider.” A brave decision; and perhaps one that many domestic riders are currently mulling over with the road racing season still on hold.
British road racing suspension extended
British Cycling has announced an extension to the suspension of road racing and other sanctioned activity beyond the previous suspension period, which was due to end on 30 June. The sport’s governing body in the UK is now proposing to move to a ‘rolling suspension’, with fortnightly review periods.
For international and national level races, the suspension has been extended until 1 September 2020. This means that rearranged dates for a number of national series and championship events – including the national road championships and the Lincoln Grand Prix (see below) – are no longer feasible. British Cycling have said they will endeavour to rearrange these events later in the calendar year if possible.
British Cycling says regional races and sportives are more likely to return sooner due to shorter travel distances, fewer event personnel involved and the expectation that they will attract lower spectator numbers. They have nonetheless extended the suspension to the 1 August 2020 for the time-being. The suspension for club and group activity, meanwhile, has been extended until 4 July 2020.
Rearranged Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix cancelled
British Cycling’s decision to postpone international and national racing to 1 September led the organisers of the Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix to cancel this year’s edition. They had moved the event from May to the alternative date of 15-16 August. The race plans to return in 2021.
Iconic 3 peaks race cancelled
One race we’ve always admired – and dreamed of racing one day – is the 3 peaks cyclocross race. The race is staged in the Yorkshire Dales National Park every year at the end of September and is regarded by many as the toughest cyclocross event in the UK. This year’s edition was due to take place on 27 September but organisers have cancelled it as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Lachlan Morton brought the race to the attention of a new audience last year when he raced it as part of EF Education First’s ‘alternative calendar’.
Black Lives Matter
The current demonstrations and protests against racism and police brutality, held across the US and the world following the appalling killing of George Lloyd, have highlighted there is still a long way to go in addressing systemic racism and prejudice.
Cycling itself remains an almost exclusively white sport. The challenge – for us included – is to consider what we can do to help change this. We’d welcome readers’ feedback on this.
Do check out Dr Marlon Moncrieffe, whose important work highlights the life histories of black British cyclists and the challenges they have faced because of the colour of their skin.
Steve Lampier hospitalised after training crash
Veteran domestic rider (and legend) Steve Lampier has been hospitalised after a crash in training. Steve was involved in a collision with a van while training on home roads in Cornwall. The van had reversed out of a field and onto the road. Steve’s injuries include a broken collarbone and shoulder blade, three broken ribs, a punctured lung and a ruptured spleen. We wish him a full and speedy recovery.
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So you may have heard I had a crash whilst out training on Wednesday. A van reversed from a field I had no where to go. I hit the back of it with my left shoulder. Paramedics quickly arrived at the scene, and transferred me to Treliske Hospital. After assessment of the damage sustained they transferred me to Derriford hospital in Plymouth which has a better trauma department. On arrival at Derriford I was told I had shattered my shoulder blade, fractured my collar bone, fractured and displaced 3ribs. Punctured my lung and badly ruptured my spleen!! The doctors are closely monitoring my spleen, they don’t want it to bleed again which can be dangerous yet they don’t want to remove as the operation is rather large. My ribs are heeling as is my lung with exercises. The shoulder and collar bone are in place so do not require surgery. I am in a lot of pain but it could have so much worse. Looking like I will be in here for a fair few days more. The staff are fantastic, as were the paramedics and staff in Treliske. I will keep you all updated ✌️
‘Everesting’ on the rise
‘Everesting‘ seems to be the challenge du jour at the moment as riders and teams look for alternative ways to test themselves in the absence of road racing. The concept is simple: choose a hill anywhere you fancy and then complete repeats of it in a single session until you climb 8,848m, the equivalent height of Mount Everest.
Internationally, new Everesting records have been set by both men and women in the past month. Emmanuel Buchmann, meanwhile, had thought he’d beaten the men’s record only to find his attempt had fallen short.
Domestically there have also been numerous Everesting attempts. Riders from Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK completed a virtual Mount Everest Challenge in support of the Campaign Against Living Miserably. The team’s Adam Kenway went on to take aim at the outdoor British Everesting record last weekend.
Spirit Tifosi BSS Rotor’s George Clark, meanwhile, has organised his own attempt, which takes place on 6 June in aid of the Fire Fighters Charity.
Featured photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com – 2019 OVO Energy Women’s Tour, Stage 6: Carmarthen to Pembrey Country Park. Amy Pieters of Boels Dolmans wins.
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