WHO’S WHO IN THE BIG RACE
CYCLING: Clancy, Elliott and Gibb among the favourites for the city’s big race THE popular televised Tour Series cycling event arrives in the city tomorrow. looks at some of the top stars and the teams looking to come out on top.
Clancy has taken his impressive track form onto the roads and is now among the world’s elite.
He was a key member of the British 4k team pursuit squad that smashed the world record and took gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, along with the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and Paul Manning.
He was third in the Peterborough leg a year ago and can again be expected to figure highly tomorrow.
Clancy helped Britain win the world team pursuit title in 2005 and 2007 but it was 2008 when the Barnsley cyclist really hit the headlines.
As well as winning the Olympic title, he helped Britain to glory at the World Championships as well as the Manchester round of the World Cup.
That good form continued into last year with impressive performances during the Tour Series and victory in the Eddy Soens Memorial Race.
At this year’s World Championships he had to settle for silver in the team pursuit but won the Omnium, one of the new events for the 2012 Olympics. Tony Gibb Gibb hit the headlines in 2002 when he took bronze in the Commonwealth Games scratch race and went on to take silver at the World Championships later that same year.
He holds the record of four victories in the prestigious Eddie Soens Memorial Road Race and has won nine British titles.
The 33 year-old warmed up for the Tour Series by winning five races in a weekend at the Welwyn Track League less than two weeks before the opener and he duly carried on that impressive form by sprinting to victory at Canary Wharf.
CyclePremier.com - Metaltek From a local point of view, Ben Price will provide the interest in the CyclePremier.com-Metaltelk team. But Price, who lives near the city centre, will mainly be providing support for some of the team’s bigger names.
Last year, CyclePremier were designated the ‘home’ team for the Peterborough leg - and had former Werrington resident Mike Cowland in their line-up, but they have made some good additions for 2010 with Gibb the most notable.
The up-and-coming Andrew Magnier - who won 40 races on the track last year - has also joined while Richard Hepworth, who represented Britain in the 2008 World Student Games, has signed.
Jason White and Raphael Deinhart remain from last year’s team. STILL GOING STRONG cashire team do boast riders capable of making an impression.
Jeroen Janssen was one of the fastest riders in the 2009 Tour Series and also won two rounds of the Elite Circuit Race Series. He’s now joined by another flying Dutchman in former speed skater Jefte de Bruin, who took 11 victories in his home country last year. Last year’s runners-up are now backed by Motorpoint, who have strong Peterborough links, so victory tomorrow would go down well.
Russell Downing won for the team here last year but has since left with Olympic medallists Ed Clancy and Steven Burke coming in. Ian Bibby handed the team their first victory of the year when he won the National Cyclo-Cross Championships in Sutton Coldfield.
The legendary Elliott, fifth here 12 months ago, is still going strong and will have every chance if he’s near the front in the closing stages as he can sprint with the best of them. Rapha Condor Sharp New sponsors (Sharp UK) and new riders mean Rapha look stronger than ever in 2010.
Australian duo Zak Dempster and Dean ‘The Duke’ Windsor look good signings. Dempster has gone close to a stage victory in The Tour of Britain before while Windsor has been on the podium twice at the Bay Crits in Victoria in 2009, where he beat the likes of Robbie McEwen and Graeme Brown in the sprints.
Star sprinter Dean Downing is a big signing for the team. He won in both Exeter and Woking last year and will be keen to help keep his team near the top of the standings. Buoyed by the signing of Simon Richardson, the Surrey-based team are aiming to improve on last year’s fifth place in the rankings.
Key to that could be Stephen Adams, who finished in the top 10 on seven occasions in last year’s Tour Series, and Tom Snape who has returned from racing in Belgium.
Matt Stephens combines riding with managing and with experience of riding at the Olympics and Giro d’Italia, and finishing in the top 10 of the Tour Down Under and Tour de Langkawi, he is the perfect tutor for some of his younger team-mates. finish third on home roads at Milton Keynes last May.
Matthew Higgins was Corley’s other top 10 finisher last term and elder brother Steven has now joined him, while another new signing is former motor-cross rider Ashley Cox. Ireland is a famous cycling nation that has produced riders like Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and Seamus Elliott in the past. Team Ireland represents the future of Irish cycling and is the first non-British team to take part in The Halfords Tour Series.
The squad mixes a blend of youth and experience, with three riders from the track team pursuit squad - David O’Loughlin, Martyn Irvine and Stephen Barrett - joining members of Dan Curtin’s Under 25 development squad.
O’Loughlin is no stranger to British roads, having ridden The Tour of Britain as well as winning major single-day races the Archer GP and Lincoln GP during the last decade. The name of the famous Nottingham manufacturer returns with Dan Fleeman the stand-out name thanks to his experience of riding major continental races for the Cervelo team.
Starting small with a five-year plan to reach the upper echelons of the sport, the Raleigh name could soon be scaling the same heights as the famous Dutch team of the same name in the 1970s and ‘80s.
Being an iconic British brand, the majority of the team are British but they are joined by Australian Peter Smith.
One name to look out for is the highly-rated Liam Holohan, who has been in superb form in the Boardman Bike Sprints so far in the Tour Series.