Posts Tagged ‘Track’

I discovered this video today from Swiss band, The Legendary Lightness. Even though the music video is over 9-months old, it seems to do a great job capturing derny racing. For those not familiar with derny racing, it is where a track cyclists race against each other but they are all drafting their own motorbikes (or derny as it is referred to in the world of cycling). Very different to Keirin racing. It’s a tough form of racing especially due to the consistent high-speed the rider needs to maintain.

The song is titled “World Full Of You.”  Enjoy!

Team GB Cycling Kit

Chris Hoy celebrating his Olympic Gold in his Team GB cycling kit

According to news reports British Cycling’s Performance Director, David Brailsford, has told the world (and more importantly his rivals) that all of the skinsuits worn by the British cyclists at the Beijing Olympics have been destroyed. This is to ensure that fellow rivals do not get their mitts on the technology used by the successful team.

According to Brailsford: “Our skin suits were sent out to Japan so that the person who put them together in Japan did not know where they were from and there was no link. Those suits were created by British Cycling and Adidas put the labels on. We got them back and they have been shredded because we believe that the technology will hold well for 2012.”

Unfortunately, this also means that none of the Olympic cyclists, including medal winners Hoy and Pendleton, could keep hold of their kit as ‘treasured momentoes’.

It’s an interesting move from the British Cycling team but one can’t help wonder that even though it might seem like a stupid idea, it’s this kind of attention to detail that makes the British Cycling team the best in the world!

Track results showing mine and Robert Hunter's names

Track results from 1993

Last night I was sorting out my book of cycling achivements (my mother started this book when I started cycling competitively wherein she kept all my achievements.) About two years ago she gave the book to me during her visit to the UK as my family and I had relocated to the UK back in 2001.

So there I was sitting on the floor seperating out all the pictures, newsletters and newspaper clippings. Low and behold I found the one you see above. Boy – did one HUGE proud grin appear on my face. Back in 1993 on a Sunday afternoon (unfortunately my mother didn’t keep the exact date on which it took place), in my first year racing in the under-17 category, I was taking part in the weekly track cycling league event at Hector Norris Park (the highest cycling track in South Africa – 1704m above sea level). In the 3km event, I was racing against none other than Robert Hunter.  And I beat him 🙂

I know it sounds like I’m bragging. But who wouldn’t, especially when the guy you beat is South Africa’s best and a stage winner in the 2007 Tour de France. At the very least, I can say I had the opportunity to race against Robbie.

Hey! You never know – perhaps it was that particular race that he decided to concentrate on his sprinting…?

Rebecca Romero

Rebecca Romero

Looks like Rebecca Romero is thinking about going for another gold at the London Olympics, but this time in a different sport to those in which she won her previous gold medals.  She became the first British woman to win Olympic medals in two different sports when she added cycling gold in Beijing to her rowing silver from 2004.

In a BBC article, she was quoted as saying: “To compete in the Olympic Games within the main stadium would just be the ultimate.”

One half of me says that this would be one hell of an achievement, if she pulls it off. But the other half of me thinks she should stick to the cycling. She’s played a pivitol part in bringing the sport to the masses in the UK (and to many parts of the world). Plus, the sport if growing so fast in popularity she should ride the wave for as long as she can. I suppose only time will tell!?

Me with camera mounted on bike at Reading's Palmer Park Track Stadium

Me with camera mounted on bike at Reading's Palmer Park Stadium

Late Friday evening I received an email from my local club, the Reading Cycling Club, informing members about the BBC’s request to film members of the cycling club for it’s weekly entertainment programme, The One Show (hosted by Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley). What exactly it was all for was not mentioned, but I thought ‘why not!’, so I emailed the producer to let him know I’ll come through on Monday evening. So I packed the car with my Fort fixed-wheel, all my winter gear, my new Giro Ionos, and made my way off to the track.

At the track I was met by the young riders from Palmer Park Velo who were there in force ready to get themselves onto TV. It was great to see them all there, especially as the evening was freezing cold.

Once the producer arrived, I asked him the reason behind the filming. He told me that the BBC were announcing the top 10 contenders for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Award 2008. With this, four cyclists have been nominated and they wanted to profile a cyclist each night this week on the show.

So off we went around the track doing various line formations, with the camera guy filming us from different angles from within a car that was also on the track with us. I was also lucky enough to have a camera mounted to my bike – this would be to give the viewer the same view of what I see when cycling in a group.

So if you are able to, be on the look out for the cyclists (and me, of course) every night this week at 7pm on BBC One. I’m the one on the red Fort bicycle wearing all black with the white & red helmet, and white shoes (see picture above to get a better idea of what I looked like).

Following my previous post on 2 November about Victoria Pendleton wanting more events for woman at the Olympics, I thought I’d create a poll (just for fun) using the poll service from our kind friends here at WordPress. My thinking is that if we can get enough votes (here’s hoping for it), we can show support to David Brailsford and the organisers of the London Olympics in their bid to lobby the UCI, who in turn need to lobby the IOC for more cycling events at the 2012 Olympics.

So what I would like to find out from you is:

  1. Do you want to see more cycling events at the next Olympics;
  2. What events these would be (feel free to list as many events as you wish)

So please click on the survey below. Thanks!

Victoria Pendleton in her new Sky+HD team gear

Victoria Pendleton in her new Sky+HD team gear

So if any of you have been keeping tabs on Ms Pendleton, you will have seen this week that she has been banging her drum about equality in cycling. Now don’t get mistaken by thinking she wants to have equality by riding against Chris Hoy. It’s more to do with the fact that she wants there to be the same amount of races for woman as there are for men.

Reading through the various online news articles you can’t help but agree with what she has to say. At this year’s Olympics in Beijing, she spent most of her time just waiting around for her one event to take place, the individual sprint. To make things worse, the individual sprint was held over a paintakingly long three days when it could all have been done in one. Three events she has world titles in – the keirin, the 500m time trial, and the team sprint – were not included in the Olympic programme.

Good news is that David Brailsford, GB Cycling’s Performance Director, is backing Pendleton up on her concerns. He was supposidly meeting with Tessa Jowell, minister for the Olympics, with an intention to raise this subject with her again. As host nation, Great Britain can lobby the UCI, who in turn need to lobby the IOC for more cycling events in London.

Now I am in full support of this. More events for the girls, and more events overall for track cycling. I mean, what about more group events (for both men and woman). For example, at a local level we have ‘The Devil’ (last rider in the group to cross the line has to come off), the Scratch Race, as well as the 20Km. Back in the early 1990’s, we used to race the 1500 and 5km events too. Now by adding any of these events, I can guarantee it will create a lot more excitement for the spectators as well as for the riders.

For those of who have have been to local track will agree with me when I say that group racing is spectacular to watch on the track. Now if you’ve never watched track racing before, best get onto the phone to your local club and ask when the next event is on.

As WordPress have kindly started to offer a polling (or voting facility), I thought I’d take the opportunity and create a poll about having more events at the next Olympics. So, please cast your vote below. I’d be interested to see the response I get.